Robotics Inspired Biology


Advances in robot design, actuation, and control have benefitted from biological inspiration, which has perhaps most influenced the soft robotics community. Furthermore, many scientists interested in understanding how animals move are turning to bioinspired robots to test their hypotheses. This workshop aims to facilitate interdisciplinary interactions between these two communities: bio-inspired roboticists and robotics-inspired biologists. We will hold a one-day workshop to bring together robotics and biologically minded scientists and engineers who all share a common theme: how does movement emerge from the interactions of complex actuators, mechanisms, and control systems? We will discuss how soft systems exploit these novel movements to significantly increase autonomy during the exploration of natural environments. This workshop will engage audiences across disciplines through expert keynote presentations, student posters and demos, and an interactive panel discussion.  Our diverse speakers will present on various soft robotics topics including novel platforms (e.g. biohybrid systems), onboard integration of bioinspired sensing and control, miniature fabrication advances, as well as ethical considerations of working with animals. We hope to develop an appreciation for the cross-disciplinary roles of scientists and engineers in the future of robotic and biological locomotion research, and specifically bring more biologists to IEEE conferences.

Conference Registration

Registration for full-conference and workshop-only attendees is between $125 and $150 depending on affiliation and date of registration. Link to registration here.

Workshop Submission

This is a full-day workshop on the intersections of robotics and biology, being held at Robosoft 2024, on April 14, 2024, San Diego, USA. 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 and/or demos during the final portion of the workshop. The best 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. 

We are currently accepting 1-page abstracts for poster/demo presentations. Please follow this Google Forms link to sign up for the workshop. Researchers who work in the areas of bio-inspired robotics, robotics-inspired biology, or anywhere in between are encouraged to apply! Original Due date is March 28th, notifications by March 30th. Deadline extended to April 5th, notifications by April 6th.


Please see the tentative schedule (8.30am-5pm) below. Poster (34inx44in max) setup is expected to be completed before the start of sessions and taken down at the start of lunch (12pm).








Invited Talk

In roboto: understanding neuromuscular systems through soft bioinspired robot models, Vickie Webster-Wood, Carnegie Mellon University


Invited Talk

Development of HASEL actuators for bio-inspired robotics and human-machine interfaces, Nick KellarisArtimus Robotics


Student Lightning Talks

Mechanical intelligence simplifies control in limbless locomotion, Tianyu Wang, Georgia Institute of Technology
Soft Robotics Inspired Biology Workshop: HASEL Actuator Design for Out-Of-Plane Bending, Anneliese Ferguson, University of Michigan
Concentric Agonist-antagonist Robots for Neurosurgical Applications, Tian-Ao Ren, Stanford University


Coffee Session



Student Lightning Talks

The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a micro-robotics platform, Sasha Rayshubskiy, Rowland Institute, Harvard University
Bio-Inspired Approach to Energetically Efficient Jet Propulsion, Zhiyuan Yang, University of Pennsylvania
Exploring the principles of walking with a fish-like body plan via robotics, Michael Ishida, University of Cambridge
Bio-inspired Quadrupedal Robot with Passive Paws through Algorithmic Origami Design, Wei-Hsi, University of Pennsylvania
A new class of insect-scale shape-morphing robots leveraging body compliance for executing lateral confined terrain locomotion, Heiko Kabutz, University of Colorado Boulder


Posters and demos




BREAK (Posters must be taken down right at the start)


Invited Talk

Unveiling the Brain's Efficiency: Insights from Soft Robotics, Thrishantha Nanayakkara, Imperial College London


Invited Talk

Building soft robots that “feel” like humans, Sheila Russo, Boston University


Invited Talk

From morphology to performance: deciphering the evolution of locomotion using theoretical and robophysical models, Baxi ChongGeorgia Institute of Technology


Coffee Session



Invited Talk

Soft haptic device design based on human tactile perception, Allison Okamura, Stanford University


Panel Discussion



Previous Workshops​