Robot Design and Customization: Opportunities at the Intersection of Computation and Digital Fabrication

ICRA 2019 Workshop


New advances in digital fabrication have increased our ability to create complex geometric structures with an ever-expanding range of materials (rigid, compliant, conductive, etc.) and are increasingly accessible to non-experts. At the same time, computational design tools offer a tremendous opportunity to facilitate robot design by encoding structural, control, or fabrication constraints during the design cycle, enabling roboticists to navigate the vast design spaces enabled by digital fabrication. The combination of these two promises new robot forms and capabilities, further expanding the applications and performance of future robots.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together the robotics, rapid fabrication, and computational design communities to discuss the challenges and opportunities in custom robot design. The workshop is centered around two major questions:

  1. How can computational approaches enhance workflow and facilitate the design and rapid prototyping of robots?
  2. How can new materials and manufacturing approaches lead to uniform processes for fabricating robots on-demand?

Topics of interest include:

  • Programmable fabrication:
    • Novel rapid fabrication methods for intelligent machines
    • Personalized mechanisms and robotics
    • Soft and compliant machines
  • Computational design:
    • Characterization, modeling, and design of printable structures
    • Hardware/software co-design and optimization
    • Morphological intelligence
  • End-to-end systems for robot design and fabrication:
    • Interactive robot design systems
    • Programmable matter
    • Fabrication-aware design

Confirmed Speakers (to be updated)

  • Michael Dickey, North Carolina State university
  • Daniela Rus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Berhard Thomaszewski, Université de Montréal
  • Charlie Wang, Chinese University of Hong King

Call for Participation

We invite participants to submit 2-page abstracts on visionary ideas or recent results in robot design and customization. Accepted abstracts will be featured in spotlight presentations (5-10 min. vignettes) or posters. Participants will also have the opportunity to contribute to a special issue in Robotica related to the topics of this workshop. Further details to be announced.

Tentative Schedule

8:45 am Welcoming Remarks
Morning Session
9:00 am Talks and Vignettes
11:00 am Posters and Demos
12:00 pm Lunch
Afternoon Session
1:00 pm Talks and Vignettes
2:30 pm Posters and Demos
4:00 pm Group discussion
5:00 pm Adjourn

Workshop Organizers

  • Cynthia Sung, University of Pennsylvania
  • Stelian Coros, ETH Zürich
  • Robert MacCurdy, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Mark Yim, University of Pennsylvania