ROBOTICS BECOMES SOFT: IN ITALY THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SOFT ROBOTICS, WITH 300 SCIENTISTS GATHERING IN LIVORNO TO HIGHLIGHT THE LATEST ACHIEVEMENTS IN THIS FIELD, FROM SELF-HEALING ROBOTS TO ROBOTS THAT GROW, TO SOFT DEVICES FOR BIOMEDICAL

From April 25 presentations of the innovations in the research area that is revolutionizing robotics, on April 28 the soft robot competition, with robots negotiating delicate obstacles and grasping fragile objects.

The General Chair Cecilia Laschi: “Europe and Italy are recognized as leaders in robotics and in its most innovative development lines.”

With the support of Sant’Anna School, Italy hosts the first IEEE Robotics & Automation Society International Conference on Soft Robotics that will be held in Italy on 24-28 April 2018. In Livorno, Tuscany. The “RoboSoft 2018” conference aims at presenting the new significant achievements in terms of principles, models, technologies, fabrication techniques for soft robots.

The field of soft robotics has grown significantly in the last decade. Over 300 scientists from across the globe will gather at Bagni Pancaldi (official opening on April 25 at 8.30 am) and Grand Hotel Palazzo for this conference. The conference will consist of four plenary lectures, oral and interactive presentations featuring prominent achievements in soft robotics and include guest keynote addresses by Filippo Nogarin, Mayor of Livorno; Pierdomenico Perata, Rector of Sant’Anna School; and Christian Cipriani, Director of The BioRobotics Institute of Sant’Anna School. 

Held in Italy for its first edition, the IEEE-RAS (Robotics & Automation Society) International Conference on Soft Robotics has been successfully promoted in partnership with local institutions and international sponsors. This conference will provide the perfect forum for institutions and companies to network in a favorable environment that provides a central reference point for international leaders in soft robotics research.  The Biorobotics Institute at Sant’Anna School is best known for pioneering biorobotics research and education and developing a range of innovative robotics technologies.

In particular, Cecilia Laschi and the researchers of Sant’Anna School Research Centre on Marine Robotics located in Livorno have developed the EU project “OCTOPUS”, a soft robotic bio-inspired octopus prototype capable of dexterous manipulation by coordinating the eight arms. A conference session on Saturday, April 28, from 9.00 am at Bagni Pancaldi, will be devoted to a competition of soft robots executing locomotion and manipulation tasks. Celebrating women in STEM in 2016, Robohub, a non-profit online communication platform that brings together experts in robotics research, business, and education from around the world, included Cecilia Laschi and her colleague Barbara Mazzolai (IIT - Italian Institute of Technology) in the ‘25 Women in Robotics You Need to Know About’ list.

Professor Cecilia Laschi is the “RoboSoft 2018” conference General Chair. The Conference will include a plenary lecture by Paolo Dario, Professor of Biomedical Robotics at Sant’Anna School. Soft robots with muscle-like actuation that emulates biological systems exhibiting unprecedented adaptation, sensitivity, and agility;  plant-inspired growing robots; biodegradable fish robots; caterpillar robots; soft robotic grippers; flexible sensors;  self-healing robots and the most advanced aquatic robots created by scientists and companies (such as Disney) across the world will be showcased.

“Hosting the first edition of the international conference on soft robotics in Livorno – says Cecilia Laschi – is a nice acknowledgment of the work done here in this field, a demonstration of how Europe and Italy are leaders in robotics and its most innovative research lines, and it is a good start for the activities of the Research Centre on Marine Robotics in the new building at Scoglio della Regina”.

The RoboSoft2018 program can be found here

Please visit www.robosoft2018.org for additional information.