Learning and Control for Autonomous Manipulation Systems: the Role of Dimensionality Reduction

A Special Issue proposal by
F. Ficuciello, P. Falco and S. Calinon

The special issue presents a hot topic in robotic manipulation that is how to merge learning and control strategies to provide autonomy to robotic systems. This is a fundamental problem for robotic manipulation and it touches different functional system levels based on both visual and tactile perception and also affects the mechanical design of the robot parts that move and interact with the environment. The anthropomorphism contemplated in the mechanical design encourages the inspiration of learning techniques and control from the functioning of the human being. This implies the involvement of a large research community not only in the field of robotics but also the community of neuroscientists. The problem is highly multi-disciplinary, and different approaches from control theory, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, will be compared and possibly combined. 


The topic of this Special Issue was the subject of a full-day workshop “Learning and control for autonomous manipulation systems: the role of dimensionality reduction”, organized at ICRA 2017. The large attendance (among 80-100 participants), the quality of the speakers, and the relevance of the addressed topics of research have been key elements for the success of the workshop. The Special Issue wants to collect an even broader scope of contributions, and make them available in archival format.

Topics of Interest

  • Dimensionality reduction in anthropomorphic design
  • Mechanical and motor synergies
  • Perceptual and sensorimotor synergies
  • The role of dimensionality reduction in learning strategies
  • The role of dimensionality reduction in control strategies


IEEE-RAS Technical Committee on Robotic Hands, Grasping, and Manipulation


Special Issue Call Publication: August 1, 2017
Special Issue Submission Opens: October 5, 2017
Special Issue Submission Closes: October 15, 2017
First Decision Communicated to Authors: January 9, 2018
Final Decision Communicated to Authors: March 15, 2018
Accepted RAL Papers appear on Xplore: April 3, 2018

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