• Emerging paradigms for robotic manipulation:
    from the lab to the productive world

    RSS 2019 full day Workshop
    June 23, Faculty of Engineering, University of Freiburg



Novel robotic developments are going hand in hand with the need for innovation in manufacturing and service applications. Large industries need increasingly fast adapting production lines, while SMEs are adopting collaborative robots to gain a competitive edge in global markets. Additionally, an increasing number of companies are producing and using service robots. In this emerging framework, robots should be able to grasp and manipulate different tools, and interact with fast changing or even unstructured environments involving human users or co-workers. Therefore, these new “real-world” scenarios require innovative grasping and manipulation paradigms that can cope with the needs of uncertain environments. Solutions are being proposed to deal with this challenge, including soft manipulation, AI-driven grasp planning, and human-robot collaborative manipulation. This workshop will bring together research experts as well as representatives of companies to discuss how new approaches in the field can efficiently be transferred from the research labs to the productive world


Maria Pozzi,
University of Siena,

Virginia Ruiz Garate,
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia,

Maximo Roa,
German Aerospace Center,


  • New design paradigms for robotic hands (e.g., soft hands, electrostatic grippers, suction cups)
  • New control paradigms for robotic grasping and manipulation (e.g., stiffness control, reflex control)
  • Dexterous grasping
  • Active perception
  • AI applied to robotic grasping and manipulation
  • Technology transfer from research labs to industry
  • Incorporating new paradigms into existing companies: do we need to restructure the working place for the new systems?
  • Robot-human handling problem: achieving natural behaviors
  • Human-robot co-manipulation: going further than the classical transport problem
  • Speakers

    Júlia Borràs Sol (CSIC-UPC)

    Researcher at Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial, Barcelona, Homepage
    "For hands, the legs are the fingers and the platform the object being manipulated."

    Robot manipulation of textile objects. Cloth manipulation by robots in non-predefined settings has so far proven elusive, due to the vast number of degrees of freedom involved in non-rigid deformations. In the CLOTHILDE project, we are addressing such challenging problem by relying on learning algorithms for perception and motion generation, and exploiting a novel definition of textile object grasps, which abstracts from the robotic embodiment or hand shape and recovers concepts from the early neuroscience literature on hand prehension skills.

    Robert Platt (Northeastern University)

    Assistant Professor, College of Computer and Information Science, Northeastern University, Homepage
    "We are particularly interested in robots that work with humans in built-for-human environments." (Helping Hands Lab)

    Gionata Salvietti (University of Siena)

    Assistant Professor, University of Siena, Homepage
    "The new generation of soft hands is out there. The quest for grasp planning and control algorithms that fully exploit their features is still open."

    Hussein Mnyusiwalla (OCADO Technology)

    Researcher, OCADO Technology, Homepage

    Benchmarking for Next-Gen Warehouses: Evaluation of Soft Manipulation Solutions. To adopt a robotic solution for an industrial task, proper evaluation processes should be defined to assess a system’s performance. In this talk, I will be presenting our work in the H2020 SoMa project on the systematic evaluation of robotic pick and place systems. We designed two separate benchmarking protocols and applied them to evaluate the performance of soft manipulation based robotic solutions developed by the consortium for our industrial use-case.

    Dominik Bösl (Festo)

    Head of Robotic Futures, Festo, Homepage
    "Robotics & AI will disrupt us like the Internet. To protect tomorrow's Robotic Natives we need Robotic & AI Governance"

    Hilario Tomé (PAL Robotics)

    Principal Robotics Engineer at PAL Robotics, Homepage
    "We push forward humanoid robotics to improve the daily work and quality of people’s life"

    Humanoid robots manipulating in domestic and industrial scenarios: PAL Robotics experience. In this talk, we will review the state of the art in control used at PAL Robotics. On-line motion generation and torque control are the building blocks used to develop complex manipulation and locomotion skills for all the robots of the company. The talk will review how we have developed these tools and how they are currently used to implement functionalities for the robots.

    Call for posters and demos

    The poster session at this workshop will give the opportunity to researchers to discuss their latest results and ongoing research activities with the community. During a flask talk presentation, presenters will have one minute to introduce their work to all workshop attendees. We also solicit suggestions for hands-on demonstrations, to give more practical insights about the workshop topics.

    Abstract Submission

    To participate, please submit by June 3rd June 10th, 2019 (AoE) a poster/demo title and 1-2 pages abstract in PDF format (RSS regular paper template) via email to all the organizers: The poster/demo can present already published research.

  • Maria Pozzi (pozzi@diism.unisi.it)
  • Virginia Ruiz Garate (virginia.ruiz@iit.it)
  • Máximo A. Roa (maximo.roa@dlr.de)
  • All contributions will undergo a review by the organizers, and the authors will be notified of acceptance within 2-3 days from the submission date.

    Poster Award

    Audience Award

    Workshop attendees will be asked to vote for the best presented poster along the day.
    The winner will be given the opportunity to join the round table discussion and to present his/her work in a 10 min spotlight talk.

    Instructions for poster presenters

  • The poster should be printed in A0 size (Width=841mm, Height=1189 mm).
  • All poster presenters should prepare a 3 min flash talk presentation.
  • All poster presenters should prepare a 10 presentation to be presented in case they win the poster challenge.
  • If you have inquiries please email us at
    pozzi@diism.unisi.it, virginia.ruiz@iit.it, maximo.roa@dlr.de