Ocean Soft Robots: Exploration and Data Challenges

Robosoft 2023 Workshop

Apr. 03, 2023 | Singapore


The ocean is still largely unexplored, although it is fundamental to regulate the world’s climate and host a vast range of human activities. Most of the marine realm is an inhospitable environment for humans, hence robots are the ideal allies to further explore and observe it. Nevertheless the innovation rate in marine robotics is slow when compared, for instance, to industrial robotics. Novel robotic platforms play a central role in pushing the boundaries and reducing the carbon footprint of ocean observations, more so soft robots, that can embed biocompatible materials and glide through unexplored areas thanks to their intrinsic dexterity and scalability.  

The increasing importance of the role of marine robotics in Earth sciences shed light, among other things, on a considerable gap in data treatment. The data policy in robotics is still far away from the more structured one in observational marine sciences. The lack of a standardised approach hinders the reproducibility of experiments and in-situ deployments, besides nullifying the validation of the gathered environmental dataset, whose value and traceability decrease drastically. The proposed workshop also intends to discuss data policy treatment in marine soft robotics,  extrapolating internationally consolidated standards and guidelines from the ocean observational community to be discussed and embedded in aquatic soft robotics. The introduction of persistent standards for soft robotics and soft robotics systems would also accelerate the development of control architectures and digital twins. Oceanographic data benefit from a long tradition of international, multiplatform and cross-time studies, hence these data also respond to well established standards, which to the scope of this workshop can be summarised through the FAIR principles: Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability. 

To value the role of soft robotics in reaching the sustainable Development Goals, such as innovation, life below water and climate action, it is paramount to integrate the mission of rising eco-robotics with the global observational effort. The rising field of marine soft robotics offers unique opportunities to develop entirely new operational methodologies and scale human activities across the world's ocean. The discussion hosted within the workshop wants to inspire fundamental studies and to focus the potentialities of soft systems paradigms on the underwater environment. Scientists from different branches of ocean science and robotics science will discuss their most pressing demands for marine exploration that can be met by soft robotic solutions. After identifying current applications of marine soft robotic systems, the discussion will  highlight opportunities for soft robots dedicated to safeguard and explore the ocean. The ultimate output of the meeting will be released in the form of guidelines for employing soft robots to get the ocean observations that we need the most.

Call for Contributions

We are calling for contributions to our Robosoft 2023 workshop. We would like to invite the attendees to submit their extended abstract presenting their soft robotics work. The accepted contributions are asked to prepare a short presentation that will be held during the workshop. The workshop is planned as an in person event. 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 a short presentation and with a poster at the workshop.
  • Please submit your extended abstract (min 1 page, max 2 pages in IEEE paper format) by sending an email to:
  • The subject of the email should be: [Robosoft 2023– Name and Surname of the Contact Author]
  • Deadline for submissions is March 24, 2023.

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


Discussion Moderation: The Soft Robotics Debate


Topic Time (SGT) Program/Speaker
Welcome message 08:30-08:40 Organizers
Opening talk 08:40-09:10 Daniela Rus

Session I: Understanding

the Ocean: How can we


09:10-09:30 Mrudul Chellapurath
09:30-09:50 Marcello Calisti
09:50-10:05 Tea Break
10:05-10:25 Rebecca Kramer-Bottiglio
10:25-10:55 Tom Kwasnitschka
10:55-11:25 Serena Teo
Teaser talks 10:25-10:55 Authors
Discussion 11:40-12:30 What do we need and how can we help?
Lunch break 12:30-13:30  
Welcome message & Session opening talk 13:30-13:35 Organizers

Session II: The Data 

Challenge for Soft

Robotics in Marine



13:35-13:55 Angelo Odetti & Gabriele Bruzzone
13:55-14:15 Francisco P. Chavez
14:15-14:35 Constanza Armanini
14:35-14:55 Amir Gat
14:55-15:15 Emma Heslop
15:15-15:30 Tea Break
15:30-15:50 Yunjie Yang
15:50-16:10 Patricia Lopez-Garcia
16:10-16:30 Martin Visbeck
16:30-16:50 Rajesh Nair
Discussion 16:50-17:35  
Closing 17:35-17:45 Organizers

Invited Speakers: Roboticists

Invited Speakers: Marine Scientists

Collaborations and Support

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