ICRA2021 workshop on micro-nano swarm robotics

Please register here:

Advances in robotics and bio-engineering have led to claims of the dawning of a new ‘synthetic’ age in which humanity has an unparalleled ability to design and alter objects at cell and sub-cellular scales. Examples of these novel micro- nano- bots include light sensitive nanoparticles, microbots that can perform logical computations, and swarms of nano-ribbons that can disassemble and reassemble on command. As robot size is shrunk to sub-millimeter lengthscales, the bots within a system will range from several thousands to exceeding several trillion in number. Engineering at these scales offer exciting new opportunities, from novel nanomedicines for treating cancer, light adaptive material design, and cellular herding through micro-interventions. Furthermore, recent breakthroughs in AI and machine learning can be leveraged to accelerate discovery. Yet, with these opportunities come fresh obstacles and research questions; how to navigate in low Reynolds environments? How to design effective communication strategies? How to control these tiny swarms? Addressing these questions will involve the breakdown of conventional disciplinary silos, bringing together robotics, active matter physics, collective behaviour research, synthetic biology and medicine towards the goal of controllable sub-cellular swarms.

The workshop will focus on micro-nano robotics, swarm engineering, and potential applications. It will be structured around 15min invited talks, 3min flash presentations, and 5min demonstrations. Talks can be prerecorded or live online (preferred). We’ll also leave plenty of time for live discussions, questions, and networking on Remo, an online platform that allows us to replicate the feeling of a conference hall with tables you can video chat at, coffee areas, and interactive functions.

We welcome short presentations (3min) and demonstrations (5min). Please fill this form with your name, affiliation, email, title, and short description of your contribution.

Submission deadline: April 20 (Anywhere in the world), 2021
Acceptance notification: April 25, 2021

Please register your interest here, so we know who to expect and can make sure you get a link to remo.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE (subject to change)
Between 30 May an 5 June (exact date TBC)


11am GMT

Opening remarks – 5min
Sabine Hauert – University of Bristol, UK

Invited talks – 45min
Peer Fischer – Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, DE
Zhang Li – The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Seraphine Wegner – University of Münster, DE
Akira Kakugo – Hokkaido University, JP

Coffee mingling – 15min

Demonstrations – 15min
Ana Rubio Denniss – The Dynamics Optical Microenvironment
(Open submissions of 5min video presentations)

Invited talks – 45min
Roberto Di Leonardo – Sapienza University of Rome, UT
Thomas Gorochowski – University of Bristol, UK
Katherine Villa (TBC) – ICIQ, ES

1:15pm GMT
Networking and meal – 45min

2pm GMT
Invited talks – 45min
Simone Schürle – ETHZ, CH
Marc Miskin – UPenn, USA
Sylvain Martel – McGill University, CA

Flash Presentations – 30min
(Open submissions of 3min video presentations)

Coffee mingling – 15min

3:30pm GMT
Invited talks – 45min
Nikolaus Correll, University of Colorado Boulder, USA
Sabine Hauert – University of Bristol, UK
Metin Sitti – Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, DE

Coffee mingling – 15min

Invited talks – 45min
Namid Stillman – University of Bristol, UK
Bahareh Behkam – Virginia Tech, USA
Spring Berman – University of Arizona, USA

5:15pm GMT
Closing discussion and networking – 45min