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2014 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)

Workshop on Soft Robots

Workshop-One full day

Hong Kong, June 5, 2014


Traditional robots are precise and fast with the use of rigid links (structures), high force/torque actuators, and position/force sensors, and they are highly capable for industrial applications such as pick/place assembly and spot welding. Soft robots do not share these traits, but they will enable a host of new opportunities for applications that require inherently safe and adaptive abilities for potential physical interactions with human and environment. The soft robots are predominantly made of soft polymers as building blocks for robot body and structure, potentially embedded with electro-active polymers and/or “smart” fluids for actuation. A fundamental challenge for such soft robotic systems is how to achieve the functionality found in rigid robots with systematic approaches to address the essential issues related to kinematics, dynamics, sensing and control.

This workshop will cover the latest research developments in soft robotics, not only in hardware, but also in the areas of modeling, analysis, soft sensing, and distributed actuation. The new paradigm of soft robotics not only necessitates finding soft materials and electronics but also exploring novel solutions to modeling of soft continuum, hyper-elastic simulation for soft robotic body, distributed control of soft actuators (polymers or fluids), strategies for soft manipulation and locomotion, and rapid prototyping and fabrication of soft robots.

This workshop will bring together a group of leading researchers of a variety of specialties in the emerging field. This workshop will foster discussions among communities of a diverse field: soft materials, large-deformation mechanics, soft electronics, and robotics. The goal is to define the main approaches to these challenges and to bring new outlook to robot and human interactions both in software and in hardware.

List of Topics

Artificial skin / stretchable electronics
Artificial muscles
Bio-inspired/biomimetic soft robots
Soft actuators: Electro-active polymers, Dielectric elastic polymers
Soft actuators: Smart fluids, Distributed fluids
Physical human-robot interactions
Soft materials in robotics
Kinematic/dynamic modeling of soft-bodied robots
Large-deformation simulation of hyper-elastic bodies
Design of compliant mechanisms/robots
Soft manipulation
Soft locomotion
Control of elastic soft robots
Exoskeletons / prosthetic technologies
Variable stiffness/damping/impedance control


Prof. Michael Y. Wang
The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Schedule of Presentation
09:00 - 09:05 Opening Remark: Michael Y. Wang
09:05 - 09:30

Oliver Brock
Technische Universität Berlin, Germany

Exploiting environmental constraints when grasping with anthropomorphic soft hands

Abstract           Presentation Material

09:30 - 09:55

Christian Duriez
INRIA, University of Lille, France

Control of elastic soft robots based on real-time finite element method

Abstract           Presentation Material

09:55 - 10:20

Yan-Bin Jia
Iowa State University, USA

Robot grasping of deformable objects

Abstract           Presentation Material

10:20 - 10:50 Coffee Break
10:50 - 11:15

Michael Y. Wang
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

From compliant mechanisms to soft robots

Abstract           Presentation Material

11:15 - 11:40

Adrian Koh
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Ultra-actuation of acrylic-based artificial muscles

Abstract           Presentation Material

11:40 - 12:05

Tongqing Lu
Xi'an Jiaotong University, China

Charge localization instability in a highly deformable dielectric elastomer

Abstract           Presentation Material

12:05 - 12:30

Barbara Mazzolai
Italian Institute of Technology, Italy

Artificial motion by growth: how plants can inspire a new generation of robots

Abstract           Presentation Material

12:30 - 14:00 Lunch Break
14:00 - 14:25

Fumiya Iida
ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Biologically inspired soft-hard robots

Abstract           Presentation Material


14:25 - 14:50

Kyu Jin Cho
Seoul National University, Korea

Toward a soft wearable knee extensor to assist physically weak people

Abstract           Presentation Material

14:50 - 15:15

Cecilia Laschi and Matteo Cianchetti
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Italy

The OCTOPUS project as an incubator of soft robotics technologies

Abstract           Presentation Material

15:15 - 15:40

Jian Zhu
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Development of a soft jellyfish robot based on dielectric elastomer actuators

Abstract           Presentation Material

15:40 - 16:00 Coffee Break
16:00 - 16:25

Hongliang Ren
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Soft oral interventional rehabilitation robot based on low-profile soft pneumatic actuator

Abstract           Presentation Material

16:25 - 16:50

Klaus Neumann
Bielefeld University, Germany

Learning to control the bionic handling assistant

Abstract           Presentation Material

16:50 - 17:15

Dan O. Popa
University of Texas at Arlington, USA

SkinSim: A simulation environment for multimodal robot skin

Abstract          Presentation Material

The Chinese University of Hong Kong