[robotics-worldwide] [meetings] Soft Robotics and VSA Winter School in Rome

Antonio Bicchi bicchi at centropiaggio.unipi.it
Wed Dec 31 03:38:54 PST 2014

The first Winter School on Soft and Variable Stiffness Robotics will be 
held in Rome on February 20-25, 2014

The school, sponsored by SAPHARI and the Natural Machine Motion 
Initiative (NMMI), will feature classes on the basics of Soft Robotics 
design and control, and will allow extensive hands-on sessions on 
physical variable-stiffness robots.

Registration is free for the whole event. Because of the hands-on nature 
of the school, the number of attendees will be limited. A selection will 
be made on the basis of the CV and motivations of applicants.

Applications must be received before February 1, 2015 through the web form

The school's climax will be a final competition among student teams on a 
challenging task to be performed by a soft robot, demonstrating 
performance superior to rigid robots.

The winning team will be awarded with a /qbmate/, the 12 D.o.F variable 
stiffness humanoid torso produced by /qbrobotics/ according to the 
Natural Machine Motion Initiative open-hardware design.

The school will be held at the Auditorium Antonianum 
(http://www.auditoriumantonianum.it/en/) within walking distance from 
the Ancient Rome's Forum and Colosseum. At the Antonianum, a cafeteria 
is available with convenient prices for warm lunches.

In-class lecture topics will include:

    Introduction to Soft Robotics
    Elements of Human Motor Control
    Variable Stiffness Actuators from the User's Point of View
    Control Basics for Soft Robots
    Joint-space and Cartesian Impedance Control
    Optimal Control of Variable Stiffness Actuators
    Stiffness and Impedance Estimation


    Bram Vanderborght, VUB
    Nikos Tsagarakis, IIT
    Giorgio Grioli, IIT and Università di Pisa
    Manolo Garabini, IIT and Università di Pisa
    Fabrizio Flacco, Università di Roma La Sapienza
    Alessandro De Luca, Università di Roma La Sapienza
    Manuel Catalano, IIT and Università di Pisa
  * Etienne Burdet, Imperial College (tbc)
    Antonio Bicchi, IIT and Università di Pisa
    Alin Albu Schaeffer, DLR (tbc)

Hands-on experience will be gained on real VSA actuators. Participants 
will form teams equipped with a kit of actuators, boards, flanges, 
batteries etc. at disposal for the whole week. Teams will have access to 
all open-source HW and SW code available on the NMMI platform, and are 
expected to share the code/applications/examples they will develop on 
the same platform.

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