Touch is a crucial sensor modality for both humans and robots, as it allows us to directly sense object properties and interactions with the environment. Recently, touch sensing has become more prevalent in robotic systems, thanks to the increased accessibility of inexpensive, reliable, and high-resolution tactile sensors and skins. Just as the widespread availability of digital cameras accelerated the development of computer vision, we believe that we are rapidly approaching a new field of computational science dedicated to touch processing.

However, a key question is now becoming critically important as the field gradually transitions from hardware development to real-world applications: How do we make sense of touch? While the output of modern high-resolution tactile sensors and skins share similarities with computer vision, touch presents challenges unique to its sensing modality. Unlike images, touch information is influenced by temporal components, intrinsically active nature, and very local sensing, where a small subset of a 3D space is sensed on a 2D embedding.

We believe that AI/ML will play a critical role in successfully processing touch as a sensing modality. However, this raises important questions regarding which computational models are best suited to leverage the unique structure of touch, similar to how convolutional neural networks leverage spatial structure in images.

The development and advancement of touch processing will greatly benefit a wide range of fields, including tactile and haptic use cases. For instance, advancements in tactile processing (from the environment to the system) will enable robotic applications in unstructured environments, such as agricultural robotics and telemedicine. Understanding touch will also facilitate providing sensory feedback to amputees through sensorized prostheses and enhance future AR/VR systems.

The goal of this first workshop on touch processing is to seed the foundations of a new computational science dedicated to the processing and understanding of touch sensing. By bringing together, for the first time ever, experts with diverse backgrounds we hope to start discussing and nurturing this new field of touch processing and pinpoint its scientific challenges in the years to come. In addition, through this workshop, we hope to build awareness and lower the entry bar for AI researchers interested in approaching this new field. We believe this workshop can be beneficial for building a community where researchers can work together at the intersection of touch sensing and AI/ML.

Important dates

Confirmed Speakers


Call for Papers

We welcome submissions focused on all aspects of touch processing, including but not limited to the following topics:

We encourage relevant works at all stages of maturity, ranging from initial exploratory results to polished full papers. Accepted papers will be presented in the form of posters, with outstanding papers being selected for spotlight talks.

Submission Instructions

Submissions should use the NeurIPS Workshop template available here and be 4 pages (plus unlimited pages for references and acknowledgments). The reviewing process will be double-blind, so please submit as anonymous by using ‘\usepackage{neurips_wrl2023}’ in your main tex file.

Accepted papers and eventual supplementary material will be made available on the workshop website. However, this does not constitute an archival publication and no formal workshop proceedings will be made available, meaning contributors are free to publish their work in archival journals or conferences.

Submissions can be made at


For questions related to the workshop, please email to