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MEAM Seminar: “Robotics Goes Soft: Challenges and Achievements, for New Robotics Scenarios”
October 26 at 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Largely inspired by the observation of the role of soft tissues in living organisms, the use of soft materials for building robots is recognized as one of the current challenges for pushing the boundaries of robotics technologies and building robotic systems for service tasks in natural environments. The study of living organisms sheds light on principles that can be fruitfully adopted to develop additional robot abilities or to facilitate more efficient accomplishment of tasks, because living organisms exploit soft tissues and compliant structures to move effectively in complex natural environments.
Widely growing worldwide, soft robotics has produced already interesting achievements in terms of technologies for actuation, sensing, control, and many more. In addition to allowing more applications for robots, soft robotics technologies are enabling robot abilities that were not possible before, like morphing, stiffening, growing, self-healing, evolving. They open up new scenarios for robotics that brings towards more life-like robots, effectively and efficiently adaptable to their environments and tasks.
Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore
Cecilia Laschi is Professor of robotics at the National University of Singapore, in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She is on leave from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy, The BioRobotics Institute (Dept. of Excellence in Robotics & AI). She graduated in Computer Science at University of Pisa and received a Ph.D. in Robotics from the University of Genoa. She was JSPS visiting researcher at Waseda University in Tokyo.
Her research interests are in soft robotics, an area she pioneered and contributed to develop internationally, including its marine and biomedical applications. She has been working in humanoid robotics and neuro-robotics.
She is Editor-in-Chief of Bioinspiration & Biomimetics (from Jan.’22), Specialty Chief Editor of Soft Robotics in Frontiers in Robotics & AI, and member of the Editorial Boards of many journals, including Science Robotics and IEEE Robotics & Automation Letters, and she serves as reviewer for journals like Nature and Science, for EC (incl. ERC), HFSP and national research agencies.
She is senior member of IEEE, of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) and of the Robotics & Automation Society (RAS), where she is AdCom member and founding co-chair of TC on Soft Robotics. She founded and chaired the 1st IEEE-RAS International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft) in 2018 and she serves in its Steering Committee. She is Co-Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Robotics 2024 and Program Chair of IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) 2024.
She co-founded the spin-off RoboTech srl, spin-off company of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, in the sector of edutainment robotics.