IROS 2018 Workshop on Shape Changing Robotic Structures and Interfaces

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at the 2018 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Madrid, Spain on 5 October 2018

Important Dates

Submission deadline: 18 27 June 2018
Notification of acceptance: 28 June 2018
Workshop Date: 5 October 2018

This workshop will bring together and encourage collaboration between communities interested in soft robotics, reconfigurable mechanisms, human-computer interaction, haptics and beyond. Live demonstrations are shown!

The event is supported by


Shape-changing robotic structures and shape-changing interfaces (as known in the Human-Computer Interaction community) are transforming systems that physically change shape exploiting 21st century robotics, including soft robotics, reconfigurable mechanisms, but also hinges on research areas such as modelling, control and material science. The design and fabrication process makes use of elements found in the field of reconfigurable mechanisms or soft material robotics or in a combination of both. Change in physical geometry can add new capabilities to these systems making them ideal for application in areas such as healthcare, production, homecare, autonomous vehicles and for interfaces with computers and machines.

Discussions at the seminar will be based around three key themes: (1) The technologies involved in shape-change, including soft, modular and reconfigurable robotics, smart materials, and actuation systems; (2) the design of shape-changing systems, including their key application areas, and their industrial and interaction design; and (3) current and future application areas. We will explore the synergies that will arise from bringing together soft and reconfigurable robotics and identify the advantages that these shape-changing robotic structures and interfaces bring to different areas of application. We believe that the true power of shape changing systems can be magnified many-fold by bringing together those different fields of science. Through coordination of research, we can reach further and faster resulting in an acceleration of research.

Workshop Paper Submission

We invite submission in the format of a one A4-page poster including a short description of the live demonstration that you intend to show at the workshop. Submissions should be in IEEE format (<5MB). Please send the paper to by 18 June 2018.

Submissions will be accepted as either a:

  • 15 min presentation and live demonstration or
  • 2 min teaser, poster presentation and live demonstration.

List of topics

  • Merging soft robotics and reconfigurable mechanisms: state of the art, current research efforts
  • Design: basic architectures, optimization, scaling
  • Haptic interfaces
  • Controllability, stability of shape-changing devices
  • Future direction of development in shape-changing systems
  • Stiffness-controllable robotic structures
  • Dynamic interaction modeling
  • Shape-changing sensing systems
  • Growing robot technologies
  • Advanced functional materials for shape-, colour-changing robots
  • 3/4D printing and fabrication
  • Multi-material rapid prototyping/3D printing
  • Smart and active materials
  • Emerging fabrication techniques for shape changing systems
  • Adaptive sensor morphology and morphological computation
  • Modelling and simulation techniques of shape-changing robots

Invited Speakers

Dr Bani Anvari, University College London, UK
Prof. Arianna Menciassi, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy
Prof. Allison M. Okamura, Stanford University, USA
Prof. Jamie Paik, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
Dr Anne Roudaut, University of Bristol, UK
Prof. Daniela Rus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Prof. Kaspar Althoefer, Queen Mary University of London, UK
Prof. Gordon Cheng, TU Munich, Germany
Prof. Jian S Dai, King’s College London, UK
Prof. Sean Follmer, Stanford University, USA
Dr Agostino Stilli, University College London, UK


roudautDr Anne Roudaut
University of Bristol, UK


Helge Wurdemann - UCL - web

Dr Helge Wurdemann
University College London, UK


Sanja Dogramadzi

Prof. Sanja Dogramadzi
Bristol Robotics Lab, University of the West of England, UK


Jamie Paik

Prof. Jamie Paik
École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland


Lining Yao

Prof. Lining Yao
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA


Audrey Girouard

Prof. Audrey Girouard
Carleton University, Ontario, Canada


Ali-alazmani-370x370 new

Dr Ali Alazmani
University of Leeds, UK



Prof. Kaspar Althoefer
Queen Mary University of London, UK



Dr Pete Culmer
University of Leeds, UK


Sean Follmer

Prof. Sean Follmer
Stanford University, Stanford, USA


Van Ho

Dr Van Ho
Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Nomi, Japan



Professor Jonathan Rossiter
University of Bristol, UK