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Biologically Inspired Robotics Laboratory

Department of Engineering

JSPS EPSRC UK-Japan Workshop on Soft Robotics

14th-15th July 2016, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

Photos and questionnaire results of the workshop can be found here


Nature has given us a number of inspirations to improve our technologies over centuries, and the field of bio-inspired engineering is becoming even more important now as the technologies and human societies are more complex and rapidly progressing. In the context of robotics technologies, we are currently facing a considerable paradigm shift from rigid robots to soft ones, inspired from biological systems. The fact that animals’ bodies consist of soft materials (such as tissues, skins, and muscles) was found to be essential in order for them to be adaptive and functional in complex environments, and by making our robots soft, they will be more flexible, more intelligent, safer, and more affordable. With the soft technologies, we are able to make our robots more “inclusive” in human-oriented environment (unlike the conventional rigid robots that are not able to collaboratively interact with human users), which is one of the utmost urgent societal requirements especially in the rapidly growing aging societies (e.g. for elderly care or co-working factories).

The UK-Japan Seminar on Bio-Inspired Soft Robotics will bring together the leading scientists of this exciting and important research area to discuss the actions to be taken in the coming years. Even though UK and Japan are known to be two of the world leaders in this research area, there have not been explicit interactions and collaborations made in the past. Through this seminar, we will develop a shared vision among the top researchers, which is then be broken down to a set of concrete follow-up actions such as a joint special issue in the major scientific journal, exchanges of students/researchers, joint grant proposals, and future workshops and conferences

Provisional Schedule

Thursday 14th July Friday 15th July

8:30 Coffee & Registration

9:00 Introduction and 2 long talks

10:10 Coffee Break

10:30 4 short talks

12:00 Lunch

14:00 2 long talks

15:10 Coffee and Poster Session

16:00 4 short talks

17:20 Close

9:00 2 long talks

10:10 Coffee Break

10:30 4 short talks

12:00 Lunch

13:30 2 long talks

14:40 Coffee and Poster Session

15:40 4 short talks

17:00 Close

Evening: Social Dinner at Sidney Sussex College  


The conference will be held at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

Registration & Accomodation

Click here to register for the conference. There is a small registration fee to cover lunch, dinner and other associated costs.

There is also some accomodation reserved for the conference for the nights of the 13th - 15th July at Sidney Sussex College. These can also be booked through the registration page.

Confirmed Speakers

Japanese Speakers

  • Prof. Koh Hosoda, Osaka University
  • Prof. Akio Ishiguro, Tohoku University
  • Prof. Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Univeristy of Tokyo
  • Prof. Keiji Suzuki, University of Tsukuba
  • Prof. Kohei Nakajima, The Hakubi Center for Advanced Research
UK Speakers
  • Prof. Etienne Burdet, Imperial College London
  • Dr. Thrish Nanayakkara, King's College London
  • Dr. Helmut Hauser, Bristol Robotics Laboratory (University of Bristol)
  • Dr. Yoshikatsu Hayashi, University of Reading
  • Dr. Munehiro Asally, University of Warwick
  • Dr. Shuhei Miyashita, University of York
  • Dr. Mirko Kovac, Imperial College London
  • Dr. Roderich Gross, University of Sheffield
  • Dr. Walter Federle, University of Cambridge
  • Dr. Adam Stokes, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr. William Seller, University of Manchester
  • Prof. Jonathan Rossiter, Bristol Robotics Laboratory (University of Bristol)
  • Prof. Guong-Zhong Yang, Imperial College London
  • Prof. Fritz Vollrath, University of Oxford
  • Prof. Tadahiro Taniguchi, Imperial College London
  • Dr. Jordan Boyle, University of Leeds
  • Dr. Andy Phillippides, University of Sussex
  • Dr. Fulvio Forni, University of Cambridge
  • Dr. Peter Culmer, University of Leeds
  • Dr. Fumiya Iida, University of Cambridge
Additional speakers will be confirmed shortly.

Poster Presentations

We have a small area for a selection of posters. If you would like to present a poster, please use the registration form to indicated this.

If you have any questions please email Geraldine Duggan (gd348 @