MechE Colloquium: On motor intelligence for continuum soft robots


Event details

Date 19.04.2023 13:0014:00  
Speaker Prof. Cosimo Della Santina, Cognitive Robotics (CoR) department, TU Delft
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English
Abstract: Leveraging the capabilities provided by their deformable bodies, continuum soft robots promise to have a disruptive impact on several fields of science, industry, and society. In the past decade, substantial progress has been made in developing soft robotic platforms, but significantly less attention has been devoted to the control challenge. Today, soft robotic systems still need a low-level artificial brain that can make them execute precise motions and eventually exploit the intelligence embedded in their complex mechanical structures. In this talk, I will briefly introduce this grand challenge within the soft robotic field and then introduce the model-based view of its solution. I will show how simplified models can be combined with nonlinear control theory, leading to precise and dynamic task execution. I will then discuss how these techniques can be combined with data and machine learning.

Biography: Cosimo Della Santina is Assistant Professor at TU Delft and Research Scientist at the German Aerospace Institute (DLR). He received his Ph.D. in robotics (cum laude, 2019) from the University of Pisa. He was a visiting Ph.D. student and a postdoc (2017 to 2019) at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was a senior postdoc (2020) and guest lecturer (2021) at the Department of Informatics, Technical University of Munich (TUM). Cosimo has been awarded euRobotics Georges Giralt Ph.D. Award (2020), the “Fabrizio Flacco” Young Author Award of I-RAS (2019), and he has been a finalist for the European Embedded Control Institute Ph.D. award (2020). In 2023, he received the IEEE RAS Early Academic Career Award in Robotics and Automation. He is PI for TU Delft of the European Projects Natural Intelligence and EMERGE, co-director of the Delft AI Lab SELF, and involved in a number of Dutch projects. His research interest is in providing motor intelligence to physical systems, focusing on elastic and soft robots.

Practical information

  • General public
  • Free



MechE Colloquium: On motor intelligence for continuum soft robots