[robotics-worldwide] [journals] Frontiers in Robotics and AI- Research Topic on SHAPE ROBOTICS

MUSCOLO GIOVANNI GERARDO giovanni.muscolo at polito.it
Thu Nov 22 01:36:40 PST 2018

Frontiers in Robotics and AI

Research Topic:
Shape Robotics: A New Challenge to Design Robots with 
Reconfigurable Functional Hybrid Shape

About this Research Topic:
Human fantasy created many mythologic figures, obtained by 
merging human and animal aspects (e.g. Arpia, Centaur, 
Minotaur, etc.), or by assembling parts of more than one 
animal (e.g. Chimera, etc.). These mythological characters 
were conceived in order to overcome human or animal limits 
and to create novel figures with many others capabilities.

Considering the recent advancement in technologies, 
humanoids, that are conceived as robots with the same 
appearance of humans, are required to perform ever more 
challenging tasks. Therefore, the demand for faster, 
energy-efficient and high performance humanoids is 
increasing. These requirements are difficult to achieve if 
we remain limited to the conventional design technologies 
resulting in more and more complex dynamical systems; 
these may meet the three aforementioned requirements but 
the cost would be a huge issue in this case. All the 
current popular humanoids are built with this paradigm: 
they have complex mechanical design with rigid links and a 
huge number of degrees of freedom, thereby, increasing the 
complexity of architectures, actuation and control 

The next generation of robots must be able to operate in 
unstructured scenarios developed for humans (e.g. houses, 
industries, hospitals, urban cities, etc.), but also unfit 
for humans (e.g. underwater, space and aerial environment, 
radioactive zones, etc.). These objectives could be 
performed by one or more modules of robots, but, in any 
case, it is not necessary to develop complex robots when 
the same functions can be performed with simpler 
solutions, maybe reconfigurable hybrid solutions.

This Research Topic would like to propose a novel concept 
of “functional reconfigurable hybrid robotics” which means 
the development of a novel generation of robots able to 
perform functional tasks using available systems in 
technology and science. The breakthrough concept is to 
consider, when designing a new (humanoid) robot, not only 
soft robotics or rigid links, or pneumatic motors or 
electric motors, but a symbiotic combination of these in 
order to optimize the functional design of the system. As 
an example, if the function of a robot is to go on a 
planar surface, wheels can be convenient instead of legs, 
but if obstacles are present maybe a combination of 
wheels, legs and wings could be adopted.

This Research Topic gives the possibility to include all 
of these points:
• Humanoid robotics;
• Soft Robotics;
• Wearable Robotics;
• Exoskeletons;
• Aerial Robotics;
• Mobile Robotics;
• Legged Robots;
• Underwater robotics;
• Hybrid Robotics;
• Service Robotics;
• Reconfigurable Robotics.

Mobile Robotics, Aerial Robotics, Underwater Robotics, 
Hybrid Robotics, Reconfigurable Robotics

Important Dates:

November 2018 - Call announcement

04 May 2019 - Manuscript submission deadline

Please note that the revision process will start
immediately after the manuscript submission, therefore
accepted papers may appear online also before the
submission deadline.


Authors interested in contributing to this special issue
are advised to submit their papers via the dedicated
submission site:



Giovanni Gerardo Muscolo
Assistant Professor of Applied Mechanics
DIMEAS-Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Politecnico di Torino.
Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24, 10129 Torino, ITALY
Phone: +39 0110906896
Email: giovanni.muscolo at polito.it

More information about the robotics-worldwide mailing list