Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

Dr Charles Fox

University Academic Fellow - Vehicle & Road Automation

Phone: +44 (0)113 343 31794
Room: 2.04
Research Group: Human Factors and Safety

Dr Charles Fox is a University Academic Fellow in Vehicle and Road Automation.    He researches autonomous off-road,  on-road, and road-side perception, control and data systems, using primarily Bayesian methods.     Recent projects include InnovateUK IBEX2 off-road autonomous agricultural vehicle control and perception in extreme terrains; FP7 CityMobil2 pedestrian detection analystics; and Automated Number Plate Recongition analytics for the Highways Agency.  He teaches the Data Analytics for Transport MSc module.

Dr Fox studied Computer Science at the University of Cambridge, Cognitive Science at the University of Edinburgh, and was awarded his DPhil from the Robotics Research Group at the University of Oxford.  He has worked as a robotics researcher at the Sheffield Center for Robotics and as a high frequency trader for hedge fund Algometrics. 

PhD projects may be available for self-funded students.   Funded projects will be advertised on but speculative PhD and postdoc applications are very warmly welcomed and will be kept on file for when new projects are funded.   Possible topics include self-driving vehicle perception and control; agricultural robotics and plant recognition;  pedestrian, vehicle and cylist detection,  tracking, and event modelling; sensor networks;  and "big data" analytics / machine learning from vehicle and sensor data.

See also:



Robotics video:,_2016.mp4



  • Lu Y; Stafford T; Fox C (2016) Maximum saliency bias in binocular fusion, Connection Science, 28, pp.258-269. doi: 10.1080/09540091.2016.1159181
  • Evans MH; Fox CW; Lepora NF; Pearson MJ; Sullivan JC; Prescott TJ (2013) The effect of whisker movement on radial distance estimation: a case study in comparative robotics, Frontiers in Neurorobotics, 6, . doi: 10.3389/fnbot.2012.00012
  • Fox CW; Roberts SJ (2012) A tutorial on variational Bayesian inference, Artificial intelligence review, 38, pp.85-95.
  • Sullivan JC; Mitchinson B; Pearson MJ; Evans M; Lepora NF; Fox CW; Melhuish C; Prescott TJ (2012) Tactile discrimination using active whisker sensors, Sensors Journal, IEEE, 12, pp.350-362.
  • Lepora NF; Fox CW; Evans MH; Diamond ME; Gurney K; Prescott TJ (2012) Optimal decision-making in mammals: insights from a robot study of rodent texture discrimination, Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 9, pp.1517-1528.
  • Fox CW; Evans MH; Pearson MJ; Prescott TJ (2012) Towards hierarchical blackboard mapping on a whiskered robot, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, 60, pp.1356-1366.
  • Fox C (2012) Review of ‘Bayesian brain’, Connection Science, 20, pp.67-68.
  • Motiwala A; Fox C; Prescott T (2011) Each to their own beat: periodicity in temporal inference, BMC Neuroscience, 12, pp.P257-P257.
  • Mitchinson B; Chan T-S; Chambers J; Pearson M; Humphries M; Fox C; Gurney K; Prescott TJ (2010) BRAHMS: Novel middleware for integrated systems computation, Advanced Engineering Informatics, 24, pp.49-61.
  • Grant RA; Mitchinson B; Fox CW; Prescott TJ (2009) Active touch sensing in the rat: anticipatory and regulatory control of whisker movements during surface exploration, Journal of neurophysiology, 101, pp.862-874.
  • Fox CW; Mitchinson B; Pearson MJ; Pipe AG; Prescott TJ (2009) Contact type dependency of texture classification in a whiskered mobile robot, Autonomous Robots, 26, pp.223-239.
  • Evans M; Fox CW; Pearson MJ; Prescott TJ (2009) Spectral template based classification of robotic whisker sensor signals in a floor texture discrimination task, Proceedings TAROS, pp.19-24.
  • Fox C; Humphries M; Mitchinson B; Kiss T; Somogyvari Z; Prescott T (2009) Technical integration of hippocampus, basal ganglia and physical models for spatial navigation, Python in Neuroscience, pp.3:6-3:6.
  • Fox C; Prescott T (2009) Hippocampal formation as unitary coherent particle filter, BMC Neuroscience, 10, pp.P275-P275.

Book Chapters

  • Prescott T; Mitchinson B; Lepora N; Wilson S; Anderson S; Porril J; Dean P; Fox CW; Pearson M; Sullivan C; Pipe T (2015) The robot vibrissal system: understanding mammalian sensorimotor co-ordination through biomimetics, In: Krieger P; Groh A (Ed) Sensorimotor Integration in the Whisker System, Springer, pp.213-240. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2975-7
  • Fox C (2013) Where wall-following works: case study of simple heuristics vs. optimal exploratory behaviour, Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp.108-118.
  • Fox CW; Evans MH; Lepora NF; Pearson M; Ham A; Prescott TJ (2011) Crunchbot: a mobile whiskered robot platform, Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp.102-113.
  • Lepora NF; Fox CW; Evans M; Mitchinson B; Motiwala A; Sullivan JC; Pearson MJ; Welsby J; Pipe T; Gurney K; others (2011) A general classifier of whisker data using stationary naive Bayes: application to BIOTACT robots, Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp.13-23.
  • Taylor M; Fox C (2011) Inventory management with dynamic bayesian network software systems, Business Information Systems, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp.290-300.
  • Motiwala A; Fox CW; Lepora NF; Prescott TJ (2011) Sensing with artificial tactile sensors: an investigation of spatio-temporal inference, Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp.253-264.
  • Evans MH; Fox CW; Pearson MJ; Prescott TJ (2010) Tactile discrimination using template classifiers: Towards a model of feature extraction in mammalian vibrissal systems, From Animals to Animats 11, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp.178-187.
  • Fox C; Prescott T (2010) Learning in a unitary coherent hippocampus, Artificial Neural Networks–ICANN 2010, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp.388-394.
  • Browne TM; Fox C (2009) Global Expectation-Violation as fitness function in evolutionary composition, Applications of Evolutionary Computing, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, pp.538-546.
  • Fox CW; Evans M; Pearson MJ; Prescott TJ (2008) Towards temporal inference for shape recognition from whiskers, Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems, Springer, pp.226-233.


  • Fox C (2003) Quantum computing functions (QCF) for Matlab, .

Conference Papers

  • Liu Y; Fox C; Hasan M; Hain T (2016) The Sheffield Wargame Corpus - day two and day three, Proceedings pp.3833-3837. doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2016
  • Evans MH; Fox CW; Prescott TJ (2014) Machines Learning - Towards a New Synthetic Autobiographical Memory, In: Duff A; Lepora NF; Mura A; Prescott TJ; Verschure PFMJ (Ed) Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems 8608, pp.84-96. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-09435-9_8
  • Fox C; Hain T (2014) Extending Limabeam with discrimination and coarse gradients., INTERSPEECH pp.2440-2444.
  • Pearson MJ; Fox C; Sullivan JC; Prescott TJ; Pipe T; Mitchinson B (2013) Simultaneous localisation and mapping on a multi-degree of freedom biomimetic whiskered robot, Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2013 IEEE International Conference on pp.586-592.
  • Fox CW; Liu Y; Zwyssig E; Hain T (2013) The Sheffield wargames corpus, Proceedings of Interspeech 2013 .
  • Fox C (2013) Formalising robot ethical reasoning as decision heuristics, First UK Workshop on Robot Ethics (UKRE) .
  • Fox C; Hain T (2013) Lightly supervised learning from a damaged natural speech corpus, Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP), 2013 IEEE International Conference on pp.8086-8090.
  • Christensen H; Cunningham S; Fox C; Green PD; Hain T (2012) A comparative study of adaptive, automatic recognition of disordered speech., INTERSPEECH pp.1776-1779.
  • Fox C; Evans M; Pearson M; Prescott T (2012) Tactile slam with a biomimetic whiskered robot, Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2012 IEEE International Conference on pp.4925-4930.
  • Fox C; Stafford T (2012) Maximum utility unitary coherent perception vs. the Bayesian brain, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society .
  • Fox C; Christensen H; Hain T (2012) Studio report: Linux audio for multi-speaker natural speech technology, Linux Audio Conference .
  • Evans MH; Pearson MJ; Lepora NF; Prescott TJ; Fox CW (2012) Whiskered texture classification with uncertain contact pose geometry, Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2012 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on pp.7-13.
  • Fox CW; Prescott TJ (2011) Mapping with Sparse Local Sensors and Strong Hierarchical Priors., TAROS pp.183-194.
  • Saul A; Prescott T; Fox C (2011) Scaling up a boltzmann machine model of hippocampus with visual features for mobile robots, Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO), 2011 IEEE International Conference on pp.835-840.
  • Lepora NF; Evans M; Fox CW; Diamond ME; Gurney K; Prescott TJ (2010) Naive Bayes texture classification applied to whisker data from a moving robot, Neural Networks (IJCNN), The 2010 International Joint Conference on pp.1-8.
  • Evans M; Fox CW; Pearson MJ; Lepora NF; Prescott TJ (2010) Whisker-object contact speed affects radial distance estimation, Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO), 2010 IEEE International Conference on pp.720-725.
  • Fox C; Prescott T (2010) Hippocampus as unitary coherent particle filter, Neural Networks (IJCNN), The 2010 International Joint Conference on pp.1-8.
  • Lepora NF; Pearson MJ; Mitchinson B; Evans M; Fox C; Pipe A; Gurney K; Prescott TJ (2010) Naive Bayes novelty detection for a moving robot with whiskers, Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO), 2010 IEEE International Conference on pp.131-136.
  • Fox C; Billington P; Paulo D; Cooper C (2010) Origin Destination Analysis on the London Orbital Automated Number Plate Recognition Network, European Transport Conference, 2010 .
  • Prescott T; Pearson M; Fox C; Evans M; Mitchinson B; Anderson S; Pipe T (2010) Towards biomimetic vibrissal tactile sensing for robot exploration, navigation, and object recognition in hazardous environments, 4th international workshop on robotics for risky interventions and environmental surveillance-maintenance (RISE ‘10) .
  • Fox CW (2008) ThomCat: A Bayesian Blackboard Model of Hierarchical Temporal Perception., FLAIRS Conference pp.592-599.
  • Fox CW; Girdhar N; Gurney KN (2008) A Causal Bayesian Network View of Reinforcement Learning., FLAIRS Conference pp.109-110.
  • Fox C; Rezek I; Roberts S (2008) Local Quantum Computing for Fast Probably MAP Inference in Graphical Models, First International Symposium on Quantum Interaction, Oxford .
  • Fox C; Quinn J (2007) How to be lost: principled priming and pruning with particles in score following, Proc. International Computer Music Conference pp.81-81.
  • Fox C; Rezek I; Roberts SJ (2007) Drum’n’Bayes: on-line Variational Inference for Beat Tracking and Rhythm Recognition, Proceedings of the ICMC .
  • Fox C (2006) Genetic Hierarchical Music Structures., FLAIRS Conference pp.243-247.

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