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Fluid-driven soft actuators: challenges and opportunities

7th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Soft Robotics: San Diego, CA USA, April 14, 2024

This workshop brings together experienced researchers and students to explore recent advancements and main challenges of soft fluid-driven actuators. Since the inception of soft robotics, actuation driven by pressurized fluids has gained widespread popularity due to its versatility, high energy density, rapid response, straightforward manufacturing, and excellent back-drivability. These advantages make soft fluid-driven actuators an attractive choice for a wide range of applications in robotics, medical devices, wearable technology, and several other domains where traditional rigid actuators may prove unsuitable.

The field of soft fluid-driven actuators has witnessed astonishing evolution in recent decades. It has evolved from simple hydraulic or pneumatic chambers powered by bulky and rigid energy sources to sophisticated channel networks activated by cutting-edge solutions that can serve as pressure sources and fluid control without compromising the compliant nature of soft fluid-driven robots. In this context, numerous innovative solutions have been proposed to integrate morphological information within fluid-driven soft structures, enabling novel shape morphing and fluid control strategies.

Throughout the workshop, an open and comprehensive discussion will be provided, bringing together internationally renowned experts. Additionally, a flash talk session followed by a poster session has been planned to give young researchers the opportunity to present their work and engage with experts and the audience.



Registration and Opening


Session 1


Robert Shepherd - Cornell University


Hugo Rodrigue - Sungkyunkwan University
Hyperbaric vacuum actuator harnessing simultaneous negative and positive pressures


Siyi Xu - University of Illinois
Sensing, actuation, and control of soft fluid-driven robots


Vito Cacucciolo – Politecnico di Bari
Solid-state soft pumps for robots and wearables

10:00-10:15 Coffee Break
10:15-11.15 Session 2

Michael Tolley - University of California
3D printing of soft robots with embodied fluidic control circuits


Perla Maiolino - University of Oxford
New valve designs for control and computation of pneumatically actuated soft robots


Daniel Preston - Rice University
Embedding Fluidic Control in Compliant Architectures


Martin Garrad - University of Bristol

11:15-12:00 Flash Talks
12:00-13:00 Panel Discussion
13:00-14:30 Lunch break and poster session

Flash talks will consist of a 3-minutes presentation and a poster session, covering recently published research, ongoing work with preliminary results, or demonstrations. Prizes will be awarded, with $100 for the best flash talk and $50 each for the best flash talk finalists. The awards will be granted by a dedicated committee, including the organizers and three experts selected among the invited speakers.
Submissions for flash talks should include an abstract of a maximum of 2000 characters and a single-slide teaser. To submit your work, click here: submission link
The template for the single-slide teaser is available at this link.

The deadline for flash talk submissions is April 1, 2024. If you have additional questions, please contact:


  • Linda Paternò - The BioRobotics Institute – Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies. Email:
  • Arianna Menciassi - The BioRobotics Institute – Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies. Email:
  • Tommaso Ranzani - Boston University. Email: