IROS 2019 Workshop on

Manipulation through Contacts:

Bridging the Gap between Research Community and Industry

We are seeing a growing need of dexterity in robotic manipulation beyond grasping. Such dexterity is usually motivated by a creative use of contacts, where these contacts can come from robot hands, arms, or any objects and fixtures in the environment. An intelligent robot can manipulate an object or its own body by exploiting the geometric and force constraints offered through contacts. Such skillful use of contact interactions could be crucial for realizing dexterous, reactive and robust robotic manipulation as well as mobile legged locomotion (self-manipulation).

While highly desired, such contact-rich manipulation comes with its own challenges – from noisy sensors to computationally demanding planning and control frameworks. While the recent research has proposed efficient algorithms and solutions for dexterous and robust manipulation, the industrial applications are seldom seen. This workshop aims to address and hopefully bridge this gap by inviting leading researchers from academia to discuss the recent advances in the field and industry experts to share their experiences and needs from the contact-rich robotic manipulation in industry. We hope this workshop can encourage discussions about possible transfers between the academic results and industrial applications.

When and where

Topics of interest

Open Talk Session

The workshop has several open talk sessions. The application is open to both academia and industry. Everyone can apply for a talk to share their work on related fields. The talk should be around 5 min plus Q&A.

How to apply

Please send an email to with title Application for open talk. Please include the following information in your email:

Please apply early, as the positions are limited.

Important dates

First round of applications ends at October 6th.

For the remaining slots, we will assign them in a first-come, first serve manner. Applications will receive the decisions within five days. All applications must be received before October 25th.

(Oct.12) The open talk slots are full. The application is now closed.

Invited Speakers

(All in alphabetical order)

Research Talks (30min each)

Reeve Zheng Hao Chong, Nanyang Technological University, website

Kensuke Harada, Osaka University, website

Maximo Roa, DLR German Aerospace Center, website

Alberto Rodriguez, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, website

Industry Talks (20min each)

Miao Li, Wuhan University/Cobot Technology Co., website

Huan Liu, MUJIN Inc., website

Tao Wang, Dorabot Inc., website

Peter Kuan-Ting Yu, XYZ Robotics Inc., website

Ruobing Yu, AI Data Innovations, website

Open Talks (10min each)

Neel Doshi, MCube Lab, MIT

Felix von Drigalski, OMRON SINIC X Corporation

Werner Friedl, German Aerospace Center Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics

Mincheul Kang, KAIST at Daejeon, Korea

Jelizaveta Konstantinova, Ocado Technology

Andrew Melnik, CITEC, Bielefeld University

Fan Shi, JSK Lab, the Univ. of Tokyo

Maria Bauza Villalonga, MCube Lab, MIT

Program (Tentative)

(Mouse over the title to see abstracts.)

Time Speaker Details
9:00-9:15 Opening  
9:15-9:45 Alberto Rodriguez, MIT, USA Certified Grasping
9:45-10:05 Peter Yu, XYZ Robotics Inc., USA Vision and Tooling for Robotic Manipulation
10:05-10:25 Ruobing Yu, AI Data Innovations, USA “Decade” Problem for bridging academia to industry
10:25-10:45 Open Talk Session I Neel Doshi, Hybrid Differential Dynamic Programming for Planar Manipulation Primitives

Felix von Drigalski, In-hand pose estimation using active touch
10:45-11:15 Coffee break  
11:15-11:45 Kensuke Harada, Osaka Univ., JAPAN Industrial Automation by Parts Picking and Product Assembly
11:45-12:15 Zheng Hao (Reeve) Chong, NTU, SINGAPORE Competition as Innovation Shortcut in Robotics Solutions
12:15-12:35 Tao Wang, Dorabot Inc., CHINA Stable grasping in the field of logistics
12:35-13:05 Open Talk Session II Jelizaveta Konstantinova, SoMa - Soft Manipulation, commercial food handling

Fan Shi, Steps Towards Aerial Dexterous Manipulation

Mincheul Kang, Collision-Free Trajectory Optimization of Redundant Manipulator given an End-Effector Path
13:05-14:05 Lunch break  
14:05-14:35 Maximo Roa, DLR, GERMANY Robustness and performance of CLASH, a compliant sensorized hand with variable stiffness
14:35-14:55 Miao Li, Cobot Inc., CHINA TBD
14:55-15:15 Huan Liu, Mujin Inc., JAPAN Never give up, never surrender! What it takes to deploy the latest and greatest robotics technologies in production
15:15-15:45 Open Talk Session III Maria Bauza Villalonga, Precise Tactile Localization for object manipulation

Andrew Melnik, Tactile Sensing and Deep Reinforcement Learning for In-Hand Manipulation Tasks

Werner Friedl, Grasp pose adaption by tactile and proximity input for a soft hand to improve grasping in crowded scenes
15:45-16:15 Coffee break  
16:15-17:15 Discussion  
17:15 End  


Main Organizer