Emerging paradigms for assistive robotic manipulation: from research labs to the real world

ICRA 2023 Full Day Workshop (FW11)

June 2nd, 2023, ExCel London

Location: South Gallery Room 22


The capability to grasp and manipulate objects allows people to interact with their surrounding environment, and is key in daily working and social activities. Assistive technologies such as wheelchair-mounted robotic arms, prostheses, and supernumerary limbs have already shown their capability in providing more independence to people lacking manipulation skills due to an innate or acquired upper-limb motor disability. 

This workshop aims at connecting developers, distributors, and end-users of assistive robots with expert researchers in the field of robotic manipulation to discuss how new and advanced grasp planning and control algorithms (e.g., techniques for grasping deformable objects), as well as new design paradigms for robotic hands (e.g., soft/smart materials, innovative sensing/actuation systems), have already been, or have the potential to be, adopted in assistive applications. 

A special focus will also be the analysis of guidelines and best practices for a user-centric design, development and transfer of new approaches in the field from the research labs to the assistive world. For the transfer to be successful, not only the robotic solutions should work effectively and reliably, but they should, above all, be accepted by the end-users and the society.


08:45 - 09:00   Welcome and presentation of workshop objectives

09:00 - 09:20 JIZAI Body: beyond human limits - Masahiko Inami

09:20 - 09:45   Joint talk: Supernumerary fingers from the lab to the market - Domenico Prattichizzo & Francesca Burgo

09:45 - 10:10   Joint talk: Hand Prostheses: from the lab to the end-users - Manuel Catalano & Maria Fossati

10:10 - 10:30   The many facets of cloth manipulation in assistive robotics - Carme Torras

10:30 - 10:45   Poster Teasers (1 min each)

10:45 - 11:15   Poster Session and Coffee Break

11:15 - 11:50  Joint talk: Implementing assistive robotic technology in the UK - What have we learned? - Simon Fielden & Stephanie Castelete

11:50 - 12:10   Talk 6 - Harold Soh

12:10 - 12:30   Talk 7 - Yan Wu

12:30 - 12:50   Safety of Collaborative Robots: Challenges and some strategies - John Mcdermid

12:50 - 14:00   Lunch

14:00 - 14:20   Human-Centric Design of Assistive Mobile Manipulators - Aaron Edsinger

14:20 - 14:40   Design and co-design of a mobile bi-manipulator for assistive applications - Narcis Miguel

14:40 - 15:00   EDAN: An assistive robot for people with physical disabilities - Jörn Vogel

15:00 - 15:05   Announcement of the best poster

15:05 - 15:45   Round Table with end-users and invited speakers: Ana Perez (Hospital Clínic de Barcelona) and Mihai Dragusanu (University of Siena) will briefly introduce their experience in designing and using assistive technology, opening the final discussion of the workshop.

15:45 - 16:15   End of the Workshop and Coffee Break

SPEAKERS (alphabetical order)

Francesca Burgo (Existo S.r.l., Italy)

Manuel Catalano (University of Pisa, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy)

Mihai Dragusanu (University of Siena, Italy)

Maria Fossati (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy)

Simon Fielden (Rahana Life, UK)

Masahiko Inami (University of Tokyo)

Charlie Kemp/Aaron Edsinger (Hello Robot Inc., the US)

John McDermid (Assuring Autonomy International Programme, University of York, the UK)

Narcis Miguel (PAL Robotics, Spain)

Ana Perez (Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Spain)

Domenico Prattichizzo (University of Siena, Italy)

Harold Soh (National University of Singapore, Singapore)

Carme Torras (Polytechnical University of Catalunya - UPC, Spanish Scientific Research Council - CSIC)

Jorn Voegel (German Aerospace Center - DLR)

Yan Wu (A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research, Singapore)


Researchers interested in presenting their work during the workshop can submit an extended abstract in standard IEEE conference template, 2 pages. Please note that it is possible to use material that has already been presented in a previous conference.  Abstracts will be reviewed by the organizers.

Extended abstracts should be submitted by e-mail to:

Authors of accepted abstracts will have to prepare a poster and present it in person during the workshop. 

Important dates 

Abstract submission deadline: April 20th, 2023 (AoE)

Notification of acceptance: ASAP and no later than April 24th, 2023 (AoE)

Workshop: June 2nd, 2023 

Presentation instructions 

Poster presenters will have to prepare a 1-slide presentation to briefly present their contribution during the "Poster Teasers" and an A0 poster in portrait orientation to be presented during the "Poster Session".

Accepted posters


Maria Pozzi

 (University of Siena, Italy) 

Jihong Zhu

 (University of York, the UK) 

Fan Zhang 

(Imperial College London, the UK) 

Virginia Ruiz Garate

 (University of Mondragon, Spain) 

Zackory Erickson

 (Robotics Institute Carnegie Mellon University, the US) 

Maximo A. Roa

 (German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany) 

Jens Kober 

(TU Delft, the Netherlands) 

Michael Gienger

 (Honda Research Institute EU, Germany) 

Yiannis Demiris

 (Imperial College London, the UK)  


The previous editions of this workshop were held at RSS2019 and ICRA2021. More details are available here.


We gratefully acknowledge the funding from the projects "THE - Tuscany Health Ecosystem" (PNRR, MUR, Italy), and  SoftEnable (Horizon Europe GA No. 101070600).