Fusion of Softness and Rigidity in Robot Mechanism

AM, September 28th, 2017 @ IROS 2017


Smart Mechanics is a research activity aiming at establishing a new robotics theory for effectively modulating power flow in robot mechanisms as well as developing novel robotic devices which can change their softness and rigidity appropriately according to mechanistic situations determined by required task. These aims are based on the insightful words provided by Dr. Shigeo Hirose, a pioneer of robot technology who created many surprising robots, that the essential functions of robot mechanisms may be eto temporarily restore, release, or branch the power flown through a considered robot systemf [1]. The main objective of this workshop is to show 1) a meaningful collection of the top research examples strongly related to Smart Mechanics in the fields of theoretical foundations of robotics, robot mechanisms, soft robotics and wearable robotics, and 2) provide a clear view of the future direction of Smart Mechanics emerged from the interactions between distinguished invited speakers and the audience.

[1] Shigeo Hirose: Message for Young Researchers, Journal of The Robotics Society of Japan, 29-6 , 482/483, 2011. (in Japanese)

Note: The original statements by Dr. Hirose are in Japanese, and the above corresponding English words were translated by the organizers.

Topics of Interest

- Power Flow Modulation/Port-controlled Hamiltonian System, Passivity-based Approach
- Robot Joints/Series Elasticity, Mechanical Impedance, Variable Stiffness, Variable Impedance
- Soft Robotics
- Smart Material/Magneto-Rheological Fluid(MRF)
- Wearable Human Support System/Walking Assist
- Impedance Estimation of Human Joints
- Assembly Robot

Program (Tentative)

9:00-9:20 Opening & Special Talk
Hiromi Mochiyama, Kenji Suzuki and Yasumichi Aiyama: Smart Mechanics

9:20-9:50 Invited Talk 1
Stefano Stramigioli, Universiteit Twente (Confirmed): Port-controlled Hamiltonian System

9:50-10:20 Invited Talk 2
TBD: Impedance Estimation of Human Joints

10:20-10:30 Coffee break

10:30-11:00 Invited Talk 3
Akihito Sano, Nagoya Institute of Technology (Confirmed): Wearable Walking Assist Device based on Passive Walking

11:00-11:30 Invited Talk 4
Dirk Lefeber, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Confirmed): Smart Mechanisms for Powering Assistive Robotics

11:30-12:00 Invited Talk 5
Conor Walsh, Harvard University (Confirmed): Soft Exosuit

12:00-12:20 Wrap-up

*Some speaker may be replaced with his/her colleague from the same research group.


Main Organizer

Associated Prof. Hiromi Mochiyama
University of Tsukuba
Tennodai 1-1-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8573, Japan


Prof. Kenji Suzuki
University of Tsukuba
Tennodai 1-1-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8573, Japan

Prof. Yasumichi Aiyama
University of Tsukuba
Tennodai 1-1-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8573, Japan

2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
Vancouver, Canada, September 24-27, 2017