Soft Robotics Workshop at ICRA 2023

Soft Robotics: Fusing function with structure

London, Friday, 2 June 2023
Session: FW16

Soft Robotics Workshop at ICRA 2023

Soft Robotics: Fusing function with structure

London, Friday, 2 June 2023

The advent of soft material technologies in robotics has brought many distinct advantages, such as inherent compliance, safety, high manoeuvrability, and reconfigurability. Along with these advantages, the past years have seen many interesting applications for soft robots in areas such as surgical robotics, extreme environments, and logistics and material handling. Despite these rapid developments, many challenges that are key to the widespread adoption and efficient utilization of novel soft material technologies are still outstanding.

The main objective of this workshop is to serve as a focal point for discussing this grand challenge of “Fusing Function with Structure in Soft Robotics’’. The workshop will host talks, short presentations, an Early Career Researchers Showcase and a panel discussion and will involve soft robotics researchers specializing in the broad domains of soft actuation, sensing, functional materials, manufacturing, and physical intelligence.


Prof. Christoph Keplinger
Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems
Dr. Ka-Wai Kwok
The University of Hong Kong
Dr. Helmut Hauser
University of Bristol
Dr. Philipp Rothemund
Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems
Dr. Ryan Truby
Northwestern University
Dr. Zhu Jian
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)
Prof. Arianna Menciassi
The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa (Italy)


Time Program
08:45-11:00 Session 1: Invited talks
10 mins: Workshop Opening
Prof. Christoph Keplinger, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS)
Title: Self-sensing high-performance actuators for fast and efficient soft robots.
Dr. Ka Wai Kwok, The University of Hong Kong
Dr. Helmut Hauser, University of Bristol
Dr. Thomas George Thuruthel, University College London (UCL)
Title: Deep visual models for control of soft robots.
11:00 – 11:15 Coffee Break
11:15 – 12:15 Session 2: Lightning talks and Discussion(10 talks x 5 mins)
List of talks selected from an open call for participation are at the end of the program.
12:15 – 13:20 Lunch Break
13:20 – 15:30 Session 3: Invited Talks
Dr. Ryan Truby, Northwestern University
Dr. Philipp Rothemund, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS)
Title: Bistable elements for the embodied control of fluid flow in soft robots.
Dr. Zhu Jian, Chinese University of HongKong (CUHK)- Shenzen
Title: Bioinspired soft actuators and robots.
Prof. Arianna Menciassi and Dr. Linda Paterno, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA)
15:30 – 15:45 Networking/Coffee Break
15:45 – 16:45 Session 4: Early Career Researchers’ Showcase
Dr. Shinsuke Nakashima, University of Tokyo
Title: Active Self-healing Legged Robot with Liquid Metal Tendon.
Mr. Huijiang Wang, University of Cambridge
Title: Sensorized Universal Gripper using Healable Conductive Hydrogels for Safe Human-Robot Interaction
Dr. Yilun Sun, TU Munich
Title: Automatic Design of Soft Robotic Structures Using Topology Optimization Methods
16:45 – 17:45 Panel Discussion and Closing Remarks

Lightning Talks:

S. No
Speaker Title
1 Yoonbyoung Chai (Korea
University), Hajun Lee, Yeonwoo
Jang, Junghyo Kim, Jaewoon Kwon,
Jiyun Kim and Sungjoon Choi
Model Identification of Pseudo Rigid Body
for Hybrid-Soft Robots
2 Xin An (Tsinghua University),
Yafeng Cui, Hao Sun, Qi Shao, and
Huichan Zhao
Active-Cooling-in-the-Loop Controller
Design and Implementation for
an SMA-Driven Soft Robotic Tentacle
3 Boyuan Du (Tsinghua University),
Chao Tang, Boyuan Du, Songwen
Jiang, Qi Shao, Xuguang Dong, Xin-
Jun Liu, and Huichan Zhao*
A pipeline inspection robot for navigating
tubular environments in the sub-
centimeter scale
4 Ahad M. Rauf (Stanford University),
Jack S. Bernardo and Sean Follmer
Auxetic Flexible PCBs for Scalable Layer
Jamming and Embedded Sensing
5 Yiyi Pan (Tsinghua University), Xin-
Jun Liu, Huichan Zhao
Stretchable and conformable variable
stiffness device through an
electrorheological fluid
6 Yingqi Li (University of Hong Kong),
Chi-Hin Mak, Kui Wang, Mengjie
Wu, Justin Di-Lang Ho, Qi Dou,
Kam-Yim Sze, Kaspar Althoefer, Ka-
Wai Kwok.
Learning-based Shape Sensing of a Soft
Optical Waveguide Sensor
7 Yixin Wang (Tsinghua University),
Xin-Jun Liu and Huichan Zhao
Modeling and Optimization of Pressure
Dynamics For Soft Pneumatic Actuators
8 Cem Suulker (QMUL), Sophie Skach
and Kaspar Althoefer
Integrating Elastic Bands to Enhance
Performance for Textile
9 Mike Y. Michelis (ETH Zurich),
Yelena Luap, Jonas Wust, and Robert K. Katzschmann
Soft-Rigid Tail for High-Current Unmanned
Underwater Vehicles
10 Manu Srivastava (Clemson
University) and Ian D. Walker
On Compliant Backbones in Tendon
Driven Continuum Robots (TDCRs)


Dr. Hareesh Godaba, (Corresponding organizer)

Lecturer in Engineering, School of Engineering and Informatics, University of Sussex, UK.

Dr. Ahmad Ataka

Lecturer, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Prof. Kaspar Althoefer

Professor and Director, Centre for Advanced Robotics@Queen Mary, Queen Mary University of London.