IEEE Robotics and Automation Society IEEE

Join Us Soft Robotics

Join the Soft Robotics TC



fumiya lida
Fumiya Iida
ETH Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
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cecilia laschi
Cecilia Laschi
Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy
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akio ishiguro
Akio Ishiguro
Tohoku University, Japan
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rob wood
Robert Wood
Harvard University, USA
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Soft Robotics


page2There has been an increasing interest in the use of soft and deformable structures in the robotic systems. Soft and deformable structures are crucial in the systems that deal with uncertain and dynamic task-environments, e.g. grasping and manipulation of unknown objects, locomotion in rough terrains, and physical contacts with living cells and human bodies. Moreover the investigations on soft materials are also necessary for more visionary research topics such as self-repairing, growing, and self-replicating robots. Despite its importance and considerable demands, the field of Soft Robotics faces a number of fundamental scientific challenges: the studies of unconventional materials are still in their exploration phase, and it has not been fully clarified what materials are available and useful for robotic applications; tools and methods for fabrication and assembly are not established; we do not have broadly agreed methods of modeling and simulation of soft continuum bodies; it is not fully understood how to achieve sensing, actuation and control in soft bodied robots; and we are still exploring what are the good ways to test, evaluate, and communicate the soft robotics technologies. From this perspective, this technical committee will bring together the scientists and engineers who have different backgrounds and disciplines, and provide a set of opportunities to discuss these open issues.

Priority areas for the technical committee include:

  • scientific problems related with soft-bodied robots
  • soft materials for robots
  • modeling and simulation techniques of soft bodies
  • fabrication and control of soft bodies
  • interdisciplinary interactions with biological/medical sciences, material sciences and chemistry
  • soft robotics application




Recent Activities of the Technical Committee:

The technical committee will organize International Workshop on Soft Robotics, in Monte Verita, Switzerland, July 2013

Organized sessions on Soft Robotics in International Conference on Biomedical Robotics (BioRob2012), June 24-27, 2012

Two sessions related to soft robotics were organized in BioRob 2012. This first session focused on soft robots as biologically inspired systems, modeling of soft robot, as well as soft robot locomotion and manipulation. The second session focused on smart materials and actuators for soft robotics. Organizers: Cecilia Laschi and Barbara Mazzolai.

Organized sessions on Smart Materials and Actuators for Soft robotics, in International Conference on Biomedical Robotics (BioRob2012), June 24-27, 2012

The second session in BioRob 2012 focused on smart materials and actuators for soft robotics, including its application for locomotion and manipulation. Organizers: Matteo Cianchetti and Virgilio Mattoli.


ETH Summer School on Soft Robotics, Zurich, Switzerland, June 18-22, 2012

This summer school gives an introduction into current issues and techniques in soft robotics research. More specifically, the lectures included mechanical fundamentals for soft robotics, modeling and simulation of soft bodies, soft actuators and deformable sensors and physical human robot interaction.

Special issue on "Soft Robotics" in Journal of Advanced Robotics 26(7), 2012

This special issue characterized the state of the art of soft robotics research. The topics covered included motion control in soft robots, control of continuum soft body, control challenge of flexible musculoskeletal body structures of robots, component technologies for soft robotics, and stiffness control for human robot interaction. Guest co-editors: Fumiya Iida, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Rolf Pfeifer and Koh Hosoda.

Special session on "Soft Robotics" at FET11 conference, Budapest, May 4-6, 2011

This session discussed how soft robotics had been developed in the last decade and what progress had been made. The topics included the use of soft and deformable materials, dynamic changes of morphology, and sensory motor control for gentle system environment interactions. Session organizer: Fumiya Iida.

Swiss-Japan Joint Seminar on "Soft Robotics: Morphology, materials, and functionalities", University of Tokyo, June 20-23, 2010

The goal of this seminar was to bring together the leading scientists of soft robotics research in Switzerland and Japan, and to discuss strategic research collaborations. The seminar was attended by seven Swiss participants and twenty two Japanese participants, consisting of faculty members, young researchers and senior students.