Workshop @ IROS’16

International Workshop on Robot Modularity

International workshop held in conjunction with IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS’16)

Official website of the conference

Robot researchers have been active for many years to develop innovative methods for robot modularity to help stop the “re-invention of the wheel” scenarios where robot designers have to start from scratch to realize a specific robot system application. Robot industry has seen the value of robot modularity for many years and many companies have made significant in-house modular conceptual approaches which has resulted in many customers benefitting from the novel products commercialized. Much of the work was originally done for hardware components but software modularity has also become important in the robotics domain and software platforms such as ROS, RT-middleware, and OPRoS have appeared. These software platforms are now being implemented in commercial robots.

It is well known that robot modularity provides a flexible design approach where robot modules (hardware and software) have the potential to be easily inter-connected (both physically and functionally) with other modules to develop application specific robot solutions quickly and cost effectively.

The adoption of modularity in the IT sector has been impressive but the take-up in the robot industry has been limited and further efforts are needed. The reasons for the slow take up may be the fragmented approaches developed and the fact that robot modularity requires a very flexible and balanced approach to allow reusability of software and hardware modules to have widespread appeal to the wide ranges of different robot domains.

In view of these concerns ISO created a new work group, namely ISO TC299/ WG6-Modularity for service robots so that open robot modular approaches could be developed using the normal consensus approaches adopted in developing ISO standards. WG6 started its work in 2014 and general principles on modularity are being formulated bearing in mind a number of issues; the issues include connectivity, interoperability, safety, security, system Integration, composability, platform independence, openness, and module granularity.

The aim of the workshop is to bring together researchers and industrialists to have an open discussion with experts, developers, and researchers to share recent R&D results, challenges, and future research trends in realizing the needed technology so that we are able to meet the global demands for flexibility of robots and robotic systems. So we organize oral/poster/lightning talk sessions to encourage the participation of young researchers and promote discussion between the speakers and the audience.

Intended Audience:

The proposed workshop is the first workshop while related workshops will be held at CLAWAR’16 in London, UK. It is part of a general effort to improve the effectiveness of robot modularity R&D carried on within the standardization of modularity at ISO TC299. The primary audience of the proposed workshop is intended to be robot researchers/developers and practitioners from academia and industry with an interest in modular robots and in how the modularization approach is useful in designing and building a new robots with ease. As secondary audience is intended to be researchers/developers for module safety and module interoperability.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Modularized robot hardware platforms and its application
  • Modular software platform and its application
  • Modular robot applications / services
  • Interoperability for modularity
  • Modular safety
  • Module composition and reusability
  • IDEs of modularized software and hardware modules
  • Benchmarking modularity

We invite extended abstracts and short papers of 2-4 pages in the standard IROS conference format. Submissions should describe modularity techniques which are applied to robots and robotics including service robots, industrial robots, medical robots, etc.

Authors of papers select one of following presentation types :

– lightning talk (5 minutes)
– poster presentation
– oral presentation(15-20 minutes)

(note : we will also include a few selected papers or invited speakers)

Submissions will be reviewed and accepted based on relevance to the workshop topics, technical quality, novelty, and presentation type.

Please send all inquiries and submissions to

Important Dates:

Submission deadline: 5 September 2016 (UTC-12) (passed)

Notification of acceptance: 20 September 2016 (passed)

Camera ready paper: 30 September 2016 (passed)

Workshop: Friday, 10 October 2016 (Half-day/AM)

Prof. Hong Seong Park (, Kangwon National University, KOREA,

Prof. Gurvinder S. Virk (, University of Gävle, and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, SWEDEN

Prof. Shuping Yang (, Beijing Research Institute of Automation for Machinery Institute, CHINA

Dr. S.C. Kang (, KIST, Korea

Note: Click on the titles for the full papers

08:30 – 08:35 Welcome
08:35 – 08:55 Paper #1: Nick Eckenstein, Tarik Tosun and Mark Yim, – “Self-reconfigurable Modular Connection Systems”
08:55 – 09:15 Paper #2: Jordi Pages, Luca Marchionni and Francesco Ferro, – “TIAGo: the Modular Robot that Adapts to Different Research Needs”
09:15 – 09:35 Paper #3: Sungchul Kang, Jeong-Jung Kim, Seonghun Hong, Woosub Lee, Sukhan Lee, Muhammad Atif, Hyun Min Do, Tae Yong Choi, Dong Il Park, Youngsu Son, Jaeyeon Lee and Joo-Haeng Lee, – “MODMAN: Modular Manipulation System with Self-Reconfigurable Perception and Motion Engines for Easy Task Adaptation”
09:35 – 09:55 Paper #4: Thomas Pilz, – – “Modularity in industrial automation How modules are used at industrial Human Robot Collaboration Applications”
09:55 – 10:05 Lightning Talk & Poster Session (1-2)
Lightning Talk #1: Dong Uk Yu and Hong Seong Park, – “Robot Middleware for Android-based Device for Reusability of Robot SW Component”
Lightning Talk #2: Koji Kamei and Toshio Hori, – “Component Framework for Robotic Functional Services Standardization and Future Extension of OMG RoIS (Robotic Interaction Service) framework”
10:05 – 10:30 Coffee Break
10:30 – 10:45 Paper #5: Hong Seong Park, Jeong Seok Kang, Wook-Jae Jo, and Mi-sook Kim, – “Automated Testing Framework Considering Distributed Testing Environment”
10:45 – 11:00 Paper #6: Rui Wang, Shuo Wang, Yu Wang and Chong Tang, – “Modular Design and Control of an Underwater Biomimetic Vehicle-Manipulator System”
11:00 – 11:15 Paper #7: Sukhan Lee, Muhammad Atif and Kukjin Han, – “Stand-Alone Hand-Eye 3D Camera for Smart Modular Manipulator”
11:15 – 11:30 Paper #8: Hyeonjun Park, Bumjoo Lee, and Donghan Kim, – “A Study on Modular Design of End Effector”
11:30 – 11:45 Paper #9: Sujeong You, Sanghoon Ji, Jiwoong Kim, and Hong Seong Park, – “Design of Reconfigurable SW Modules for Mobile Manipulators in the Small-Scale Flexible Plants”
11:45 – 12:00 Paper #10: Maor Ashkenazi and Ronen I. Brafman, – “Performance Level Profiles for Code Reuse and Plug’n Play Autonomy”
12:00 – 12:15 Paper #11: Holger Zeltwanger, – “Standardized Embedded Networking in Modular Service Robots”
12:15 – 12:30 Open Discussion