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

Title: Exploiting environmental constraints when grasping
with anthropomorphic soft hands

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