Multimodal Soft Robots for Multifunctional Manipulation, Locomotion, and Human-Machine Interaction


Abstract

Living organisms display a remarkable spectrum of adaptive behaviors to navigate ever-changing environments, driven by their inherent capacity for multimodal actuations and sensations. These foundational multimodal actuations, encompassing bending, twisting, contraction/extension, and their synergistic combinations, empower creatures to achieve advanced multimodal locomotion (e.g., running, jumping, and swimming) and versatile manipulation (e.g., grasping, touching, pushing, and pulling), enabling them to adeptly evade predators and excel in prey capture. Augmenting these dynamic movements are multimodal sensations, encompassing distance, deformation, force, and temperature perception, equipping organisms with the sensory acumen to make informed decisions. Inspired by the natural world, the field of soft robotics has made significant strides in developing multimodal actuation and sensing methodologies. While bio-inspired designs have long informed modern robotics, a compelling need exists for comprehensive dialogues centered on "multimodality." This workshop aims to delve into the latest breakthroughs in multimodal soft robotics. Employing a holistic, multidisciplinary approach, we intend to assemble leading experts from diverse domains, including mechanics, materials, robotics, animal behavior, and neuroscience, to explore the multifaceted concept of "multimodality." Our objectives encompass addressing extant challenges, cultivating fresh interest, attracting new participants to the field, and fostering collaborative synergies that will drive the evolution of multimodal soft robotics.

Call for Contributions

We are calling for researchers at all career stages to contribute short talks, posters, and live demonstrations at the workshop. Those interested should submit an 1-page abstract with a maximum of one figure as a PDF to [email protected] and [email protected]. Submissions should be related to multimodal behavior of animals, multimodal soft robots, mechanics behind multimodal soft machines, multimodal actuation and sensing, etc. The submission deadline is Thursday, Feburary 15th, 2024 (11:59PM, your local time).

Submission details: A select number of submissions will be chosen to give short lightening talks during the workshop. Other submissions will be accepted to present posters or live demonstrations. We would like to encourage participants to present live demos if possible! There are two $300 prize funds for the best posters and live demos each.

Invited Speakers

Ruike Renee Zhao

Ruike Renee Zhao

Assistant Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Stanford University

Hanqing Jiang

Hanqing Jiang

Chair Professor

School of Engineering

Westlake University

Kyu-Jin Cho

Kyu-Jin Cho

Professor

School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Seoul National University

Wei Gao

Wei Gao

Assistant Professor

Department of Medical Engineering

California Institute of Technology

Li Zhang

Li Zhang

Professor

Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering

Chinese University of Hong Kong

Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio

Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio

John J. Lee Associate Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

Yale University

Theodora Po

Theodora Po

PhD Candidate

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

University of California, Irvine

Manuel Gomez-Ramirez

Manuel Gomez-Ramirez

Assistant Professor

Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Rochester University

Josie Hughes

Josie Hughes

Assistant Professor

Institute of Mechanical Engineering

EPFL

Allison Okamura

Allison Okamura

Richard W. Weiland Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Stanford University

Sara Abad Guaman

Sara Abad Guaman

Lecturer

Department of Mechanical Engineering

University College London

Barry Trimmer

Barry Trimmer

Professor

Department of Biology

Tufts University

Audrey A. Sedal

Audrey A. Sedal

Assistant Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering

McGill University

Organizing Committee

Xiaonan Huang

Xiaonan Sean Huang

Assistant Professor

Robotics Department

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Wenbo Li

Wenbo Li

Senior Researcher

School of Aerospace Engineering and Applied Science

Tongji University

Talia Yuki Moore

Talia Yuki Moore

Assistant Professor

Robotics Department

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Zhuang Zhang

Zhuang Zhang

Senior Researcher

School of Engineering

Westlake University

Liang He

Liang He

Associate Professor

Institute of Biomedical Engineering

University of Oxford

Carmel Majidi

Carmel Majidi

Clarence H. Adamson Professor

Mechanical Engineering Department

Carnegie Mellon University

Tentative Schedule

All times are in UTC-8 (Pacific Standard Time)
Time Speaker Topic
08:30 - 08:40 Organizing Committee Opening, agenda, introductions
08:40 – 09:05 Barry Trimmer Multimodal behavior of animals and multimodal robots
09:05-09:30 Manuel Gomez-Ramirez Neuroscience and multimodal touch sensation
09:30 – 09:55 Theodora Po Multimodal behavior of animals
09:55 – 10:00 Student Lightening Talk Multimodal behavior of animals
10:00 – 10:30 Coffee Break, Posters and Live Demonstrations
10:30 – 10:55 Ruike Renee Zhao Mechanics behind multimodal robotics
10:55 – 11:20 Hanqing Jiang Mechanics behind multimodal robotics
11:20 – 11:45 Li Zhang Multimodal response of smart materials
11:45 – 12:10 Audrey Sedal Multimodal response of smart materials
12:10 – 12:15 Student Lightening Talk Multimodal response of smart materials
12:15 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 13:55 Allison Okamura Multimodal robots and haptics
13:55 – 14:20 Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio Multimodal actuation and robots
14:20 – 14:45 Kyu-jin Cho Multimodal actuation and robots
12:10 – 12:15 Student Lightening Talk Multimodal actuation and robots
14:50 – 15:20 Coffee Break, Posters and Live Demonstrations
15:20 – 15:45 Wei Gao Multimodal sensation
15:45 – 16:10 Josie Hughes Multimodal manipulation
16:10 - 16:35 Sara Abad Guaman Multimodal manipulation
12:10 – 12:15 Student Lightening Talk Multimodal sensation
16:40 – 17:20 Invited Speakers Panel Discussion

Sunday, April 14th, from 8:30am - 5:30pm, PST

Hard Rock Hotel, San Diego, CA

Contact the organizers at [email protected]