Special session on Soft and Underactuated Robots at ICIAfS2014

Special session on Soft and Underactuated Robots at ICIAfS2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 22-24th December 2014.

Organized by the Technical Committee on Sot Robotics, IEEE Robotics and Automation Society.

Session chair: Thrishantha Nanayakkara, Centre for Robotics Research, Department of Informatics, King’s College London

Scope: Locomotion and manipulation strategies of soft invertebrates like octopus and underactuated control strategies of vertebrate limbs have begun to raise a number of questions about the role of the body itself in the computation required to control interactions with the environment. The conventional idea of a controller residing in microprocessors separate from the body being controlled has been challenged with the idea that the body itself actively contributes to the computation that maps states to actions of the body. The extreme examples are in passive dynamic walkers that can maintain a steady state speed of walking with no sensors and actuated joints. Therefore, the conventional view that extra degrees of freedom in soft and underactuated robots cause challenges to design closed loop controllers is being challenged with the alternative view that proper design of the soft robot can in fact reduce the burden on the closed loop controllers. Moreover, recent findings show that a soft robot can enhance information transfer in its embodied sensors by controlling the stiffness of the embodiment that hosts the sensors.

These exciting topics of recent research can provide future solutions to energy efficient robust robots that can serve in many industrial and service industries that require robots to work in shared workspaces with humans, or in applications like landmine detection without having to cut vegetation, agriculture, and underwater exploration. Therefore this special session contributes to the theme – “sustainable development through effective man-machine co-existence”.

Apart from the scientific merit, we encourage you to submit papers to this session based on its potential to promote science in developing countries.

Deadline for first paper submission: 15th September 15th October, 2014 following the guidelines given here. Please choose the “special sessions track“.

Registration fees: US$380 per participant. One author can submit upto two papers. If an author cannot be present, he/she should send the presentation in PPT or PDF format to the session chair Thrishantha (email: thrish.antha@kcl.ac.uk ) before the start of the session and should be available via Skype for the Q&A session.

Contact: For any questions, please contact Thrishantha (email: thrish.antha@kcl.ac.uk )

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