Programme Overview

The 1st International Winter School will cover the following topics:

  • Fundamentals of smart (self healing, sensing, actuating) materials, biology and design, actuation, sensing and control/AI in soft robotics
  • Integration smart materials in soft robotics
  • Applications of smart materials and soft and growing robotics
  • Relevant societal and economic impact and personal development (transferable skills) as presentation skills, science communication, ethics, exploitation)

In addition, we aim to organise out-of-the-box tutorials teaching creative skills that are normally not covered during conferences. 

SMART Winter School Programme

Location: Cambridge, UK

Venues: Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge (CUED) & Jesus College

ARRIVAL, Sun 12 December:

14:00 Start of registration and check-in at the College. 

19:00 Evening “Get-together” Event with food and drinks.


Day 1, Mon 13 December

07:30 – 09:00 Breakfast at College

Morning Session (Hybrid Event) 

08:30 – 09:00 SMART Winter School Registration open [CUED Foyer]

09:00 – 09:30 Winter School Welcome and Introduction [LT1]

09:30 – 10:30 Mark Cutkosky

10:30 – 11:00 Refreshments break [LT 1 Foyer]

11:00 – 12:00 Pooi See Lee

12:00 – 13:00 SMART/SHERO Overview 1

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch  [LT 1 Foyer]

Afternoon Session

14:30 – 17:00 Monitoring of 3D printed soft robotic hinges with flexible strain sensors using Arduino/ Building your own self-healing actuator (run in parallel)

17:30 – 19:00: Student poster session and meet-and-greet 

*Please note: preferred poster sizes are A1 or A0

Free evening: College dinner or Pub Visit


Day 2, Tues 14 December 

07:30 – 09:00 Breakfast at College

Morning Session

09:30 – 12:00 Building a soft robot with omnidirectional bending capabilities: From fluidic artificial muscles manufacturing to the overall system characterization/ Modeling soft robots with SOFA

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch  [LT 1 Foyer]

Afternoon Session (Hybrid Event

13:30 – 14:30 Shoji Takeuchi

14:30 – 15:30 Barbara Mazzolai

15:30 – 16:00 Refreshments break [LT 1 Foyer]

16:00 – 17:00 Carmel Majidi

Free evening: College Dinner or Pub Visit


Day 3, Wed 15 December

07:30 – 09:00 Breakfast at College

Morning Session (Hybrid Event

09:30 – 10:30 Herbert Shea

10:30 – 11:00 Refreshments break [LT 1 Foyer]

11:00 – 12:00 John Biggins

12:00 – 13:00 Tom Erez

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch  [LT 1 Foyer]

Afternoon Session

14:30 – 16:30 ‘From the Romans to DNA: A Tour of Historic Cambridge’ [Dress code: umbrellas, warm jackets, comfortable walking shoes + cameras for golden hour pictures]

18:00 – 19:00 Drink at college [Dress Code: smart casual]

19:00 – 21:00 Formal dinner [Dress Code: smart casual]


Day 4, Thurs 16 December

07:30 – 09:00 Breakfast at College

Morning Session (Hybrid Event

09:30 – 10:30 SMART/SHERO Overview 2

10:30 – 11:00 Refreshments break [LT 1 Foyer]

11:00 – 12:00 Peer Fischer

12:00 – 13:00 Karoline von Häfen

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch  [LT 1 Foyer]

Afternoon Session

14:30 – 17:00 Machine learning for modelling and control of Soft Robots/ Assembling a biohybrid energy harvester based on living plants and measuring electrophysiological signals in plants (run in parallel)

17:30-21:00 Barbecue (at College)

19:30-21:00 Student Panel discussion + Magic Show (https://matthewlemottee.com/)


Day 5, Friday 17 December

07:30 – 08:45 Breakfast at College/Check-out/Luggage to the CUED

Morning Session (Hybrid Event

09:00 – 10:00 Silvia Vignolini

10:00 – 10:30 Refreshments break [LT 1 Foyer]

10:30 – 11:30 Jonathan Rossiter

11:30 – 12:30 Robert K Katzschmann

            12:30 – 13:00 Lunch  [the OHMC]

13:00 – 15:00 Scientific Panel Discussion + Prize Distribution

Afternoon: Departure

Those who would like to spend an extra day in Cambridge should contact Jesus College and book an extra night directly with them. Jesus College conference service: +44 (0)1223 760524 or email us on conference@jesus.cam.ac.uk.

Tutorial Activities

In addition to lectures, talks and seminars, the Winter School will be running parallel tutorial sessions that will not be broadcast online. Tutorial sessions and speaker sessions can be found in separate menus above.