The 2018 International Robotic Sailing Conference (IRSC) will be held on August 31st and September 1st 2018, at the University of Southampton, Boldrewood Campus, B176L Lecture Room 176L/1125.



August 31st


September 1st

08:15 – 09:00 Breakfast (residential only) Breakfast (residential only)
08:30 – 09:00 Refreshments & registration Refreshments
09:00 – 09:45 Keynote Keynote
09:45 – 10:30 Presentation Session 1 Lightening Talks
10:30 – 11:00 Refreshments Refreshments
11:00 – 11:45 Presentation Session 2 Presentation Session 4
11:45 – 12:30 Presentation Session 3 Presentation Session 5
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch Lunch
13:30 – 14:15 Group Discussions Presentation Session 6
14:15 – 14:45 Closing Ceremony
14:45 – 15:30 Transfer to National Oceanography Centre University of Southampton facilities tour
15:30 – 16:30 Refreshments & Facilities tours NOC
16:30 – 17:30 Public Seminar with prize giving cceremony
18:00 – 20:15 Banquet
Please note that this schedule may still be subject to change.
Session 1:
Reliability Informed Routing for Autonomous Sailing Craft
Study of Long-Term Route Planning for Autonomous Sailboat
Securing Navigation of Unmanned Maritime Systems
ASVTrafficSim: A simulator for Autonomous Surface Vehicle and Manned Vessel Collisions
Backstepping Control of an Autonomous Catamaran Sailboat

Session 4:
Dynamic Simulation Model for an Autonomous Sailboat
Tight Slalom Control for Sailboat Robots
Session 5:
Isobath Following using an Altimeter as a Unique Exteroceptive Sensor
Adaptive Probabilistic Tack Manoeuvre Decision for Sailing Vessels

Session 6:
Development and Test of an Open-Source Autonomous Sailing Robot with Accessibility, Generality, and Extendibility
Peruagus – a Transatlantic Autonomous Surface Vessel for the Microtransat Challenge

Important Dates

Full paper draft submission: June 18th
Reviewers’ response: July 12th
Final print version submission: July 30th
Conference: 31th of August to 1st of September


Paper Submission Topics

IRSC 2018 welcomes paper submissions on a range of topics around autonomous surface marine robotics, especially sailing robots.

This year’s IRSC theme is ‘Situational Awareness’, so we especially invite submissions applying this theme on related topics:

  • failure detection
  • obstacle avoidance
  • collaboration with other vessels
  • interaction with other parties in the marine environment

Further submission topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Applications of autonomous marine robots
  • Sensors and actuators for autonomous sailing
  • Hardware and software organisation
  • System development and validation
  • Route planning, navigation and optimisation
  • Control architectures and algorithms
  • Mechanical design and advanced materials
  • Collision avoidance, boat-to-boat communication
  • Machine learning and adaptation
  • Energy and power management
  • Robotic boats in teaching
  • Legal issues for autonomous vessels
  • Modelling, simulation, control and stability analysis
  • Naval architecture
  • Marine engineering

Program Committee

  • Nick Townsend, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  • Sophia M Schillai, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  • Sébastien Lemaire, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  • Yu Cao, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  • Artur Lidtke, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  • Thomas Klyver, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  • Fabrice Le Bars, ENSTA Bretagne, France
  • Cedric Pradalier, GeorgiaTech Lorraine, France
  • Erik Maehle, University of Luebeck, Germany
  • Alexander Schlaefer, Hamburg University of Technology, Germany
  • Nuno Cruz, Universidade do Porto, Portugal
  • Manuel Silva, ISEP-IPP and INESC TEC CRIIS, Portugal
  • Antonio C. Dominguez-Brito, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
  • Anna Friebe, Åland University of Applied Sciences, Finland
  • Paul Miller, US Coast Guard Academy
  • Colin Sauze, Aberystwyth University, Wales, United Kingdom
  • Benedita Malheiro, Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, Portugal
  • Oren Gal, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Israel
  • Ole Blaurock, Fachhochschule Lübeck, Germany
  • Kostia Roncin, ENSTA Bretagne, France
  • Jorge Cabrera, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
  • Paul Miller, USCGA, USA
  • Bradley Bishop, United States Naval Academy (USNA), USA
  • Alex Laun, United States Naval Academy (USNA), USA
  • Michael Schukat, NUI Galway, Ireland
  • Diedrich Wolter, University of Bamberg, Germany
  • Noureddine Bouhmala, Borre, Norway

Organizing committee

  • Sophia M Schillai, University of Southampton
  • Nick Townsend, University of Southampton


Submission of full paper drafts for review (deadline June 18th 2018) via Easy Chair. Full papers may be up to 9 pages in length, including figures.

Please use our template for your final submission: paper-template-IRSC2018