Robotics-inspired biology


Advances in all aspects of robotics (design, manufacturing, actuation, and controls) have enabled the development of bio-inspired robots that can now achieve some similar functions as their biological counterparts (the Harvard RoboBee, CMU modsnake, RHex, etc). Due to the increasing use of robots as a tool in the scientific process, a large community of biologists use sophisticated robotics hardware and principles to test biological hypotheses in control, actuation, and dynamics of organismal motion. The goal of this workshop is to facilitate interactions between these two communities—bio-inspired roboticists and robotics-enabled biologists. In particular, we hope to identify how roboticists who develop bio-inspired devices may shape new directions of biological inquiry. Furthermore, we want to understand how experiments in organismal locomotion are enabling new concepts for robot design and control. This workshop will address the commonalities and differences underlying these fields through keynote presentations from experts and a panel discussion. The goal of this workshop is to develop an appreciation for the cross-disciplinary roles of scientists and engineers in the future of robotic and biological locomotion research.

This is a full day workshop on the intersections of robotics and biology, being held at IROS 2017. September 28, 2017, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. We are currently accepting 1-page abstracts for poster presentations (see here). Researchers who work in the areas of bio-inspired robotics, robotics-inspired biology, or anywhere in between are encouraged to apply! Due date is August, 18th, notifications by August, 22nd



Registration for full-conference and workshop-only attendees is between $125 and $250 depending on affiliation and date of registration.

Link to registration here

Invited speakers (schedule TBD)

9:00 Welcome and agenda (Nick Gravish) Website
9:10 Howie Chosett (CMU) Website
9:35 Chen Li (Johns Hopkins) Website
10:00 Coffe + posters
10:30 Henry Astley (University of Akron) Website
10:55 V. Margot Paez (Poster)
11:00 Kirstin Petersen (Cornell) Website
11:25 Sawyer Fuller (University of Washington) Website
11:50 Tom Libby (Poster)
11:55 Callie Branyan (Poster)
12:00 Lunch
13:30 Bo Cheng (Penn State) Website
13:55 Zeynep Temel (Harvard) Website
14:20 Louis J. Dankovich IV (Poster)
14:25 Hamid Marvi (ASU) Website
14:50 Aimy Wissa (UIUC) Website
15:15 Melanie Anderson (Poster)
15:20 Mark Cutkosky (Stanford) Website
15:45 Kaushik Jayaram (Closing remarks)
16:00 Coffee + poster session
17:30 Workshop concludes

Poster contributions

Slip matters in hexapedal steering Dan Zhao, Shai Revzen
Starfish inspired actuation of soft robotic tube feet Tom Kalisky, Michael T. Tolley
A dynamical systems perspective on templates and anchors: some general methods for anchoring templates Matthew Kvalheim, Shai Revzen
On-line tracking and ejection system for investigating dynamic behavior of running insects Tomohiro Kawahara
Deriving biped controllers from human experiments Varun Joshi, Manoj Srinivasan
Robphysical modeling for investigating sand-diving in the sandfish skink V. Margot Paez, Sarah Sharpe, Daniel I. Goldman
Collisional diffraction in serpentine self-propulsion Jennifer M. Reiser, Perrin E. Schiebel, Arman Pazouki, Fefei Qian, Zachary Goddard, Andrew Zangwill, Dan Degrut, Daniel I. Goldman
Planning quadrupedal gaits in granular media with geometric mechanicsPlanning quadrupedal gaits in granular media with geometric mechanics Julian Whitman, Baxi Chong, Yasemin O. Aydin, Chaohui Gong, Jennifer M. Rieser, Guillaume Sartoretti, Daniel I. Goldman, Howie Choset
The smellicopter: autonomous odor localization on a micro air vehicle using bioinspired control and hybrid biological/synchetic sensors Melanie Anderson, Joseph Sullivan, Sawyer Fuller, Jeff Riffel, Kevin Brink, Jennifer Talley, Matt Reynolds, Tom Daniel
Towards a synthetic science of legged locomotion: component comparisons in animals and robots Tom Libby, Erin Brandt, Duncan Haldane, Leeann Louis, Robert Full, Max Donelan
A mechanical model of the frog ankle as a biological cam Louis J. Dankovich IV, Benjamin Perlman, Sarah Bergbreiter, Emanuel Aziz
Gait synthesis with reduced proprioceptive requirements George Council, Shai Revzen
Development of a miniature, low-cost robot for a laboratory-scale underwater collectives testbed Florian Berlinger, Jeff Dusek, Melvin Gauci, Radhika Nagpal
Idle active matter: excavation by confined and crowded collectives B. Dutta, D. Monaenkova, J. Aguilar, V. Linevich, W. Savoie, M.A.D. Goodisman, D.I. Goldman
Peristalsis versus lateral undulation for effective locomotion in soft snake robots Callie Branyan, Lily Orth-Smith, Yigit Menguc
Geometric insights for data driven gait analysis Brian Bittner, Shai Revzen
Metamerism in a bistable origami crawling robot Brian H. Chen, Oyuna Angatkina, Alez Pagano, Andrew Alleyne, Aimy Wissa, Sameh Tawfick

We are pleased to invite contributions of 1 page abstracts for poster presentations of research in the theme of Robotics-inspired biology. Abstracts should be submitted in the form of a 1-page PDF and will be posted on the workshop website after selection. The selected contributions will be presented as posters during the final portion of the workshop. The best poster submissions will be selected for short 3-minute lightning talks. We particularly encourage young scientists, from both biology and robotics backgrounds to attend and interact. Submissions should be sent in an email with the subject line "IROS 2017 poster submission" to

Abstract format: compile abstract into a single column 1-page PDF using either latex (preferred) or word.

Templates can be found here:



This is a workshop taking place at the upcoming IROS 2017 robotics conference ( taking place in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. For information contact

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together roboticists and bioligists to discuss the emerging frontiers in bio and robotic locomotion science. We are soliciting abstracts for poster presentations from students and researchers in both biology and bio-inspired robotics.