[robotics-worldwide] Living Machines 2013: Preliminary Call for Papers, Satellite Events and Sponsors

Nathan F Lepora n.lepora at sheffield.ac.uk
Wed Oct 31 14:08:04 PDT 2012

Preliminary Call for Papers, Satellite Events and Sponsors

The 2nd International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems
29th July to 2nd August 2013
Natural History Museum, London
(Paper deadline: March 15th, 2013)

The development of future real-world technologies will depend strongly
on our understanding and harnessing of the principles underlying
living systems and the flow of communication signals between living
and artificial systems.
Biomimetics is the development of novel technologies through the
distillation of principles from the study of biological systems. The
investigation of biomimetic systems can serve two complementary goals.
First, a suitably designed and configured biomimetic artefact can be
used to test theories about the natural system of interest. Second,
biomimetic technologies can provide useful, elegant and efficient
solutions to unsolved challenges in science and engineering. Biohybrid
systems are formed by combining at least one biological component—an
existing living system—and at least one artificial, newly-engineered
component. By passing information in one or both directions, such a
system forms a new hybrid bio-artificial entity.

The development of either biomimetic or biohybrid systems requires a
deep understanding of the operation of living systems, and the two
fields are united under the theme of “living machines”—the idea that
we can construct artefacts, such as robots, that not only mimic life
but share the same fundamental principles; or build technologies that
can be combined with a living body to restore or extend its functional

Biomimetic and biohybrid technologies, from nano- to macro-scale, are
expected to produce major societal and economical impacts in quality
of life and health, information and communication technologies,
robotics, prosthetics, brain-machine interfacing and nanotechnology.
Such systems should also lead to significant advances in the
biological and brain sciences that will help us to better understand
ourselves and the natural world. The following are some examples:
• 	Biomimetic robots and their component technologies (sensors,
actuators, processors) that can intelligently interact with their
• 	Active biomimetic materials and structures that self-organize and
• 	Biomimetic computers—neuromimetic emulations of the physiological
basis for intelligent behaviour.
• 	Biohybrid brain-machine interfaces and neural implants.
• 	Artificial organs and body-parts including sensory organ-chip
hybrids and intelligent prostheses.
•	Organism-level biohybrids such as robot-animal or robot-human systems.

The main conference will take the form of a three-day single-track
oral and poster presentation programme, 30th July to 1st August 2013,
that will include six plenary lectures from leading international
researchers in biomimetic and biohybrid systems.  Currently agreed
speakers are Mark Cutkosky, Stanford University (Biomimetics and
Dextrous Manipulation); Terrence Deacon, University of California,
Berkeley (Natural and Artificial Selves); Ferdinando Rodriguez y
Baena, Imperial College London (Biomimetics for medical devices);
Robert Full, Stanford University (Locomotion); Andrew Pickering,
University of Exeter (History of living machines).
Submissions will be in the form of full papers or extended abstracts.
The proceedings will be published in the Springer-Verlag LNAI Series.
Submissions are also invited for an exhibition to feature working
biomimetic or biohybrid systems and biomimetic/biohybrid art.
Active researchers in biomimetic and biohybrid systems are also
invited to propose topics for 1-day tutorials or workshops on related

The organisers are delighted to have secured the Natural History
Museum in London (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/) as the venue for our
conference.  The NHM is an international centre for the study of the
natural world featuring many important biological collections.  The
NHM is in South Kensington, the Museum district of the UK capital, and
a short journey from many of London’s tourist sights.

We invite both full papers and extended abstracts. All contributions
will be refereed. Full papers are invited from researchers at any
stage in their career but should present significant findings and
advances in biomimetic or biohybid research; more preliminary work
would be better suited to extended abstract submission. Full papers
will be accepted for either oral presentation (single track) or poster
presentation. Extended abstracts will be accepted for poster
presentation only.  Details of submission formats will be circulated
in an updated CfP and will be posted on the conference web-site.
Submissions of papers are invited in, but not limited to, the
following topics and related areas.
Biomimetics can, in principle, extend to all fields of biological
research from physiology and molecular biology to ecology, and from
zoology to botany. Promising research areas include system design and
structure, self-organization and co-operativity, new biologically
active materials, self-assembly and self-repair, learning, memory,
control architectures and self-regulation, movement and locomotion,
sensory systems, perception, and communication. Biomimetic research,
particularly at the nano-scale, should also lead to important advances
in component miniaturisation, self-configuration, and
energy-efficiency.  A key focus of the conference will be on complete
behaving systems in the form of biomimetic robots that can operate on
different substrates on sea, on land, or in the air. A further central
theme will be the physiological basis for intelligent behaviour as
explored through neuromimetics—the modelling of neural systems.
Exciting emerging topics within this field include the embodiment of
neuromimetic controllers in hardware, termed neuromorphics, and within
the control architectures of robots, sometimes termed neurorobotics.
Biohybrid systems usually involve structures from the nano-scale
(molecular) through to the macro-scale (entire organs or body parts).
Important implementation examples are: Bio-machine hybrids where, for
instance, biological muscle is used to actuate a synthetic device.
Brain-machine interfaces where neurons and their molecular machineries
are connected to microscopic sensors and actuators by means of
electrical or chemical communication, either in vitro or in the living
organism. Intelligent prostheses such as artificial limbs, wearable
exoskeletons, or sensory organ-chip hybrids (such cochlear implants,
and artificial retina devices) designed to assist the disabled or
elderly, or to aid in rehabilitation from illness. Implantable or
portable devices that have been fabricated for monitoring health care
or for therapeutic purposes such as artificial implants to control
insulin release. Biohybrid systems at the organism level such as
robot-animal or robot-human communities.  Biohybrid systems may take
advantage of progress in the field of synthetic biology.
Contributions from biologists, neuroscientists, and theoreticians,
that are of direct relevance to the development of future biomimetic
or biohybrid devices are also welcome, as are papers considering
ethical issues and/or societal impacts arising from the advances made
in this field.

Satellite events
LM2013 will support satellite events, such as workshops or tutorials,
in any of the areas listed above, which can be scheduled for either
the 29th July or 2nd August.  Attendance at satellite events will
attract a small fee intended to cover the costs of the meeting.  There
is a lot of flexibility about the content, organisation, and budgeting
for these events.  Please contact us if you are interested in
organising a satellite event!

March 15th, 2013 Paper submission deadline
April 29th, 2013 Notification of acceptance
May 20th, 2013 Camera ready copy
July 29-August 2nd 2013 Conference

Living Machines 2013 is sponsored by the Convergent Science Network
(CSN) for Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems which is an EU FP7 Future
Emerging Technologies Co-ordination Activity. CSN also organises two
highly successful workshop series: the Barcelona Summer School on
Brain, Technology and Cognition (http://bcbt.upf.edu/bcbt12/) and the
Capoccaccia Neuromorphic Cognitive Engineering Workshop
Other organisations wishing to sponsor the conference in any way and
gain the corresponding benefits by promoting themselves and their
products to through conference publications, the conference web-site,
and conference publicity are encouraged to contact the conference
organisers to discuss the terms of sponsorship and necessary
arrangements. We offer a number of attractive and good-value packages
to potential sponsors.
We are looking forwards to seeing you in London.

Conference Secretariat:
living-machines at sheffield.ac.uk
c/o Gill Ryder,
Sheffield Centre for Robotics
Department of Psychology
University of Sheffield
Western Bank
Sheffield, S10 2TN
United Kingdom

Organising Committee:
Tony Prescott (co-chair)
Paul Verschure (co-chair)
Nathan Lepora (programme chair)
Carme Buisan
Anna Mura

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