Complete Agent-driven Model-based System Testing for Autonomous Systems

If you are interested in novel approaches to testing complex autonomous transportation systems (ATS) in the automotive, avionic, and railway domains, then join Prof Kerstin Eder at 17:00 on 21 October at the Third Workshop on Formal Methods for Autonomous Systems (FMAS 2021).

Kerstin will be joined by Jan Peleska and Wen-Ling Huang. Jan will present their paper ‘Complete Agent-driven Model-based System Testing for Autonomous Systems’ before opening the discussion. The intention is to use the methods described in the paper for system-level testing of some of our TAS Functionality Node use cases.

The workshop will take place from 17:00 – 17:30 on 21st October.

FMAS 2021 will be held online on 21st and 22nd October 2021. For programme information and how to register visit FMAS 2021.

Do you want to know more about our research into evolving functionality in autonomous systems?

Then come and join us for a series of talks and workshops on Wed 15 September at the TAS Programme All-hands meeting.

Dr Shane Windsor, Functionality Node Principal Investigator, will be hosting a fireside chat where you will have a chance to ask questions about the research we are doing at the Node. So if you are interested in how evolving functionality influences how systems need to be specified, designed, verified, validated, curated and regulated, then this is the event for you.

Shane has pre-recorded a talk which you are invited to listen to beforehand so you can prepare your questions.

The Functionality Node are also hosting a Specifying for Trustworthiness workshop which brings together researchers and engineers with interests in the specification requirements for trustworthy autonomous systems to discuss and identify intellectual challenges that can be developed into collaborative research projects.

Again, if you are interested in joining us and a host of experts from the TAS programme (Professor Luc Moreau, UKRI TAS Hub Deputy Director; Professor Yiannis Demiris, Professor of Human-Centred Robotics; Professor Subramanian Ramamoorthy, Professor of Robot Learning and Autonomy and more) register and sign up at the links below.

Members of the TAS community can also join an interactive Poster session on Tuesday 14 September at 12pm and 2.30pm where you can met some of the Functionality Node researchers and chat to them about their work.

View the programme

Register for the TAS Programme All Hands Meeting

Download the Whova Mobile App to sign up for talks and workshops.

Functionality Node fireside chat Wed 15 Sept 09:30-10:30 – open to all

Functionality Node Specifying for Trustworthiness workshop Wed 15 Sept 13:30-15:30 – open to all

Poster session Tuesday 14 September at 12pm and 2.30pm – open to TAS community members

Participants wanted for ethics study

Would you like to help in some research on the ethics of robots? If so, we are looking for volunteers to discuss ethical issues around robots and autonomous systems that are capable of learning from their surroundings and changing what they do.

The research is part of the ARET: Adaptable Robots, Ethics, and Trust study. In old English ‘aret’ means ‘to ‘entrust’, and ‘arête’ is a term used by Ancient Greek philosophers to indicate moral virtue or excellence.

If you are aged 18 or over, we would love to hear from you. You do not need to have any previous knowledge of autonomous systems to participate as we will show you images and videos to introduce you to the technologies.

You can find out more about the study on our ARET: Adaptable Robots, Ethics, and Trust study webpage or by contacting Arianna Manzini at

If you would like to take part please complete this volunteer form.

BRL On Demand

The Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) hosted their first virtual conference on 30 June 2021. With over 50 talks, the conference was a gathering of top robotics researchers, business leaders and PhD/post-doctoral students showcasing cutting-edge research.

Members of the TAS Functionality Node gave talks on Connected Autonomous Vehicles (Prof Kerstin Eder), Out-of-the-Box Swarm Solutions for Intralogistics (Associate Prof. Sabine Hauert) and Developing Trustworthy Adaptive Autonomous Systems (Dr Shane Windsor). Sabine Hauert also joined a panel discussion: What Is The Future of Robotics?

Other speakers covered a wide range of topics such as unmanned aerial vehicles, soft robotics, assistive technologies, human-robot interaction and robot safety and ethics.

If you missed the conference, or you would like to re-watch it, BRL has made all the talks available through their dedicated YouTube channel.


Powering emergency food distribution using swarms: Results from the DOTS competition are in

Find out how robots called DOTS (Distributed Organisation and Transport Systems) were used to help simulate the distribution of emergency food parcels in a competition run jointly by the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, Toshiba Bristol Research and Innovation Laboratory and the South Gloucestershire Council’s UMBRELLA project.

Increases in the number of emergency food parcels distributed by food banks have accelerated over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in those going to children. Robot swarms could help streamline the distribution of these emergency food parcels, while freeing up time for volunteers and workers to interface with the users and provide human contact.

Read about how participants in the competition brainstormed and engineered solutions to tackle the challenge and watch their simulations on the RoboHub website.