2023 IEEE ICRA full day workshop

Embracing contacts.

Making robots physically interact with our world 

June 2nd, 2023


We, humans, utilize our potential to physically interact with the world by employing a diverse set of contact-rich strategies, such as pushing, throwing, catching, sliding, rolling, and pivoting. However, we are yet to empower robots with such ability of embracing contacts during manipulation. In this workshop, we would like to discuss the unique challenges that handling contacts brings in the presence of under-actuated, hybrid, and uncertain dynamics, raising questions such as: 

1)  How to model hybrid contact dynamics in planning and control; with constraints (phase-based vs contact implicit) or via learned contact dynamics?

2) How to handle errors in the timing of contact-mode switches that might trigger impacts? 

3) How to address model mismatch and generalize beyond training data; in scenarios with different numbers and types of contact events? 

4) How effective can novel tools and gripper designs be? 

5) What is the role of tactile and geometric information when handling contacts?

Amid a growing interest in making robots manipulate in human-centered environments, e.g. home-care, logistics, healthcare, we aim at gathering researchers from mechanical design, perception, control, planning and learning, to tackle, among others, some of the above questions and to discuss the future of contact-rich manipulation.

Important dates

Google DeepMind will reward the best 3 posters with prizes of 250£, 150£, and 100£ in amazon vouchers, and will kindly cover the expenses of a few students for attending the workshop.

To submit your paper, follow the instructions on this page.


Emo Todorov

Roboti LLC

University of Washington

Animesh Garg

University of Toronto


Contact-Rich Manipulation

Yuval Tassa

Google DeepMind

Andy Zeng

Google DeepMind

Mel Vecerik

Google DeepMind

University College of London

Hang Yin

University of Copenhagen


Poster Session and Panel Discussions


First award

Runner-Up award

Third place award

Travel grants


João Moura

The University of Edinburgh

Todor Davchev

Google DeepMind

Mario Selvaggio

Università degli studi di Napoli Federico II

Theodoros Stouraitis

Honda Research Institute EU

Sethu Vijayakumar

The University of Edinburgh and The Alan Turing Institute

Bruno Siciliano

Università degli studi di Napoli Federico II