[robotics-worldwide] [journals] CFP: Special issue of Soft Robotics: Soft Robotics, the Path Ahead

Joshua Schultz joshua-schultz at utulsa.edu
Fri Dec 11 12:48:40 PST 2015

Special Issue on the theme "Soft Robotics, the Path Ahead"
Soft Robotics (SoRo)

Submission deadline: 12th February 2016

Joshua Schultz (University of Tulsa)
Michael T. Tolley (University of California, San Diego)
Yiğit Mengüç (Oregon State University)
Bram Vanderborght (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)


Following on the full-day workshop at the IEEE International Conference on
Robotics and Automation (ICRA2015), a special issue in the journal Soft
Robotics (SoRo) has been organized for the Issue of September 2016.
Perspective contributors are invited to submit original research papers,
review papers, and forward looking papers on promising research directions.
All papers will undergo peer review.

Authors should follow the guidelines of Soft Robotics (SoRo). Manuscript
and submission guidelines are available at:


Submission deadline: 12th February 2016
To appear in the issue of September 2016


The field of soft robotics has experienced a tremendous amount of growth in
the past several years. The area has become a hotbed of innovation as
researchers have been producing novel active materials, ingenious materials
and non-traditional manufacturing techniques. The lines between technology
and biology are being blurred, as prototype soft robots begin to display
biological behaviors. The field has benefitted from advances in 3D
printing, casting, and lithography to bring about unique motion and
force-producing behaviors.

The field of soft robotics has begun very differently from other fields,
being led by the “makers,” not the mathematicians. Because soft robots tend
to be made from low-cost materials, it has had the luxury of trying
multiple different approaches by physically building them and evaluating
their behavior in experiments. As soft robots become increasingly
sophisticated and achieve greater accuracy and performance, however,
mathematical descriptions, analytical and computational models, and
simulation will play a much greater role, approaching the role played in
traditional robotics. What will remain is the particular perspective of
soft robotics, that uncertainty in the environment is to be expected, that
position accuracy is no longer paramount, that damage will not be fatal,
and the notion of joint space has to be --- well, less rigid.

This issue will reflect on some common threads that have appeared between
very disparate approaches in soft robotics’ short history, and peer down
the road to see what key milestones lie ahead. It will envision a future in
which soft robots are doing useful, real-world tasks. To appropriately plan
for this future, the community needs to answer an important question: “When
and where are soft robots better suited than rigid robots?” Getting to this
answer will require new metrics to be devised that take into account the
unique properties and capabilities of soft robots. Formal methods for
predicting deformation and control will need to be devised. As the core
soft robotics technologies move from proof of concept of basic behaviors to
integrated functional devices, results will move from simple measurements
of force and displacement to success in grasping, locomotion, manipulation,
and assembly. This transition has already begun and will gather steam in
the years to come.

This issue solicits thoughtful articles describing novel technical advances
in the field, review articles that pose a unified interpretation of
advances by disparate research groups, and articles that lay out key
research challenges in the field providing a clear view as to the journey
ahead. Articles that pose mathematical modeling techniques (or appropriate
them from other fields) to describe, plan, or optimize behaviors unique to
soft robots are especially desired.


SoRo Website: http://www.liebertpub.com/overview/soft-robotics/616/
CFP Website:
Contact: joshua-schultz at utulsa.edu

Joshua A. Schultz, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
The University of Tulsa
tel: 918-631-3846
fax: 918-637-2397
web: http://personal.utulsa.edu/~jas019/

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