Leveraging advancements in smart materials science:

Soft robots gaining new abilities through smart and functional materials

ICRA 2022 Full-Day Workshop on May 27 in Philadelphia and online


  • Thank you to all the participants (online and in person), speakers, authors, and panelists who made this workshop a such great event! See you in London next year! You can find the workshop recording here.
  • Remote registration for the conference and workshops is free. Please register here. The zoom link is available for registered participants here.
  • We have a total of 293 registrations for our workshop! We are very happy about the great resonance and are looking forward to the workshop!
  • Eleven submitted papers were accepted for presentation. The papers are available for download below on this website.

The shared best presentation award goes to:

A 4-Degree-of-Freedom Origami Fingertip Haptic Device with Pneumatic Actuators
Crystal E. Winston, Zhenishbek Zhakypov, Mark Cutkosky, and Allison M. Okamura

Origami self-sustained oscillators
Wenzhong Yan and Ankur Mehta


The field of soft robotics has made inroads into a number of applications, filling the niches where traditional robots are unable to compete. This development is driven by new smart and functionalized materials that enable innovative soft robotic abilities. This ICRA 2022 workshop will bring together experts from the fields of materials science and soft robotics, bridging the gap between the disciplines to develop the next generation of cutting-edge soft robotic systems. The workshop will explore current challenges to create new soft robotic systems using smart and functionalized materials in the future. Three sessions, each introduced by a leading researcher from materials science and followed by keynote presentations of soft robotics researchers, will focus on smart materials for actuators, sensors and applications. A panel discussion, moderated and streamed by the Soft Robotics Debate, will discuss obstacles, challenges and the future direction. As part of the workshop, real demonstrators will be presented to illustrate the opportunities arising from smart materials in a soft robotic context.

Call for Contributions

We are calling for contributions to our ICRA 2022 workshop. We would like to invite the attendees to submit their extended abstract presenting their soft robotics work applied to one of the three sessions (i.e., Actuators, Sensors and Applications). The accepted contributions are asked to prepare a short presentation that will be held during the workshop. The workshop, planned as a hybrid event, will allow submissions and presentations to be made both by people at the conference and remotely. The best contribution will be awarded a certificate.


Paper submission guidelines

  • The submitted contributions will go through a single-blind review process.
  • The authors of the accepted contributions will have the opportunity to present their work in the contributed paper session at the workshop and online.
  • Call for contributions is open to both in-person and online attendees.
  • Please submit your extended abstract (min 2 pages, max 4 pages in IEEE paper format) by sending an email to:
  • The subject of the email should be: [ICRA 2022 Soft Robotics WS Submission – Name and Surname of the Contact Author]
  • Deadline for submissions is the 09.05.2022.

Please note that the accepted extended abstracts in this workshop will not be published in the conference proceeding.



The aims of the workshop are:

  • to bring together scientists from materials science and soft robotics in an interdisciplinary manner, bridging the gap between the fields to develop and enable novel systems and applications.
  • to discuss what steps are necessary to facilitate closer collaboration between the two fields and to translate novel materials more quickly into soft robotics applications.
  • to provide young researchers in soft robotics and materials science with a platform to meet, to learn from experienced researchers and to discuss the future of soft robotics research.


Scholarships for young researchers from underrepresented backgrounds

Gender equality, and support for young scientists from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, is of particular importance to us. Therefore, we invite all young researchers worldwide to apply for one of five scholarships covering travel expenses and costs for accommodation for the entire time of the conference. Please send us your CV and a motivation letter outlining your current relationship with soft robotics topics, your experience in the field, and your career goals. Deadline for submissions is the 31.03.2022
For questions, please contact Jan Peters (





Topic Time (ET) Program/Speaker
Opening Talk 08:30-08:50 Motion control of soft actuators/robots realized by ion exchange membranes
Koichi Suzumori, Tokyo Institute of Technology
Welcome 08:50-09:00 Welcome message by the organizers
Actuator Session 09:00-09:20 Bioinspired Multifunctional Polymer Films for Actuating Devices
Sabine Ludwigs IPOC Stuttgart
09:20-09:40 Magnetic Soft Robotics and Miniaturized Biomedical Devices
Renee Zhao Stanford University
09:40-10:00 Soft Adaptive Robots Inspired by Nature
Barbara Mazzolai Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
10:00-10:20 Soft and liquid active materials for plant inspired robotics
Ingrid Graz Johannes Kepler Universität Linz
Break 10:20-11:00 Break
Featured Talk 11:00-11:20 Soft for soft’s sake? Assessing the real-world impact of Soft Robotics
Carmel Majidi Carnegie Mellon University
Contributed Papers 11:20-12:30 Presentation of the contributed submissions
Break 12:30-13:50 Poster and demonstrator presentations
Sensor Session 13:50-14:10 Soft active materials for adaptive, shape-changing robots
Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio Yale University
14:10-14:30 From smart materials to trustworthy soft robots - flapping, gripping and squeezing
Jonathan Rossiter University of Bristol
14:30-14:50 Smart Vines: Soft Growing Robots with Distributed Sensing and Stiffness Control
Allison Okamura Stanford University
14:50-15:10 Fluidic Logic and Embodied Intelligence
Adam Stokes University of Edinburgh
Break 15:10-15:40 Poster and demonstrator presentations
Application Session 15:40-16:00 Embracing Complexity for Enduring and Adaptive Soft Robots
Robert F. Shepherd Cornell University
16:00-16:20 Soft Material Robotics and next-generation surgical robots
Sheila Russo Boston University
Panel Discussion 16:20-17:00 Moderated panel discussion featuring the Soft Robotics Debate with
Laura Blumenschein
Closing 17:00-17:10 Award ceremony, farewell and closing comments of the organizers

Accepted Contributed Papers

11:20 - 11:26 Starfish-inspired Ultrasound Ciliary Bands for Microrobotic Systems
Cornel Dillinger, Nitesh Nama, and Daniel Ahmed

11:26 - 11:32 A low-cost, 3D-printed magnetorheological fluid clutch utilizing electropermanent magnet arrays
Nicholas Bira and Joseph R. Davidson

11:32 - 11:38 Origami self-sustained oscillators
Wenzhong Yan and Ankur Mehta

11:38 - 11:44 Multimodal Proximity and Visuotactile Sensing with a Selectively Transmissive Soft Membrane
Jessica Yin, Gregory M. Campbell, James Pikul, and Mark Yim

11:44 - 11:50 Jamming pneumatic actuator for wearable robotics
Linda Paternò, Luigi Truppa, Emanuele Gruppioni and Arianna Menciassi

11:50 - 11:56 A Tunable, 3D Printed “Textile” for Soft or Wearable Robots
Sonia F. Roberts, Jack Forman, Hiroshi Ishii, and Kristen L. Dorsey

11:56 - 12:02 Modeling of pneumatic multi-chamber bending actuators benefits from a well-chosen design - and vice versa
Frederik Lamping and Kristin M. de Payrebrune

12:02 - 12:08 A 4-Degree-of-Freedom Origami Fingertip Haptic Device with Pneumatic Actuators
Crystal E. Winston, Zhenishbek Zhakypov, Mark Cutkosky, and Allison M. Okamura

12:08 - 12:14 Design and Control of Soft Biomimetic Pangasius Fish Robot Using Finray Actuator and Reinforcement Learning
Samuel M. Youssef, Menna Allah Soliman, Mahmood A. Saleh, Ahmed H. Elsayed, and Ahmed G. Radwan

12:14 - 12:20 Hoxels: Fully 3-D Printed Soft Multi-Modal & Multi-Contact Haptic Voxel Displays for Enriched Tactile Information Transfer
Zhenishbek Zhakypov, Yimeng Qin, and Allison M. Okamura

12:20 - 12:26 Piezoelectric Soft Robots for Inchworm Crawling and Jumping Optimized with Weight Asymmetry
Zhiwu Zheng, Hsin Cheng, Prakhar Kumar, Yenan Chen, Sigurd Wagner, Minjie Chen, Naveen Verma and James C. Sturm

Invited Speakers

Collaborations and Support

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