ICRA 2021 Workshop: "Parallel robots or not parallel robots? New frontiers of parallel robotics"

During the last 30 years, rigid-link fixed-base parallel robots have been studied in depth, thus leading to a large quantity of research results that helped their development for many applications (e.g. pick-and-place manipulation, machine-tools, simulators, etc). Several scientific issues on these robots were solved, thus leading to a decrease in their scientific interest.

In the last years, new types of parallel robotic devices appeared, like soft/continuum robots, flying robots, cable-driven robots, underactuated robots, multi-finger hands, etc. These innovative closed-chain mechanisms, with no rigid links or no fixed base or no traditional end-effector, brought several new scientific issues to be solved related to design, modelling and control. Most scientific problems are unsolved, and prevent these new robots to pass from academia to industry or society.

This workshop aims at

  1. bringing together researchers working in several distinct communities (e.g. soft/continuum robotics, compliant mechanisms, aerial robotics, cable-driven robotics, tensegrity structures, dexterous manipulation and physical interactions), but who have a similar object of investigation in common, i.e. a closed-chain robotic device, so that they can share their experiences, tools, issues;
  2. fostering researchers to investigate the new issues arising from the development of new types of robots.


Many researchers working on new types of parallel robots do not come from the traditional parallel-robotics community, and vice-versa. As a result, new communities do not benefit from the experience of the traditional community, while the traditional community misses many scientific issues that could drive its research in the future.

This is the reason why this workshop aims at:

  1. bringing together researchers working in several distinct communities who have a similar object of investigation in common, i.e. a parallel robot, so that they can share their experiences and issues;
  2. cross-fertilizing traditional and new communities, so that innovative research results could emerge.

Important dates

18 April 2021: Deadline for papers' submission

9 May 2021: Notification of acceptance

May 30 to June 5 2021: Workshop (full-day, precise day to be disclosed as soon as it becomes available from ICRA2021 organizers)


To be disclosed asap

Workshop content

In order to fulfill the aims of this workshop, we asked young, yet well recognized, researchers from both communities to provide talks on recent results in their respective fields. A speaker from Industry will also provide his viewpoint on the next challenges in parallel robotics. The list of speakers and their talks are:

  • J. Burgner-Kahrs, University of Toronto Mississauga

Parallel Continuum Robot – Reconfigurable Designs

  • C. Della Santina, Technical University Delft, and DLR

Soft Hands or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Data

  • G. Hao, University College Cork

Synthesis, Modelling and Optimization of Compliant Parallel Manipulators

  • J.B. Izard, Tecnalia

Taking parallel kinematics robots to the market

  • D. Lau, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Real-World Applications of the Fundamental and Practical Development of Cable-Driven Parallel Robots

  • G. Loianno, New York University

Autonomous Agile Cooperative Aerial Transportation

  • P. Renaud, INSA Strasbourg

Tensegrity Mechanisms as candidates for the design of medical robots

  • C. Rucker, University of Tennessee

Modeling and Characterization of Parallel Continuum Robots


In order to favor the interaction between the invited researchers and the audience, three different types of sessions will be organized in addition to the keynote sessions:

  • Selected papers sessions: A call for presentations will be made and the contributions will be accepted or rejected after their evaluation.
  • Session “My work in 3 minutes”: PhD students and postdocs will have the opportunity provide an overview of their works.
  • A round table: All keynote speakers and attendees will be invited to participate to a round table that will be a supplementary moment for exchanges of experience.



Organized by

Dr. Sébastien Briot

LS2N / CNRS, France


Pr. Marco Carricato

DIN, Bologna University, Italy

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