Masahiro Nakajima

Assistant Professor, Nagoya University, Japan

Title: Bio-Micro/Nanomanipulation Approaches of C. elegans under Microscopes


Dr. Masahiro Nakajima graduated the Shizuoka University in 2001, and received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Nagoya University in 2003 and 2006, respectively. From April 2006 to May 2006, he was a Research Fellow of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Nagoya University, where he was a Research Associate from June 2006 to March 2007. From April 2007 to September 2009, he was an Assistant Professor with the Department of Micro-Nano Systems Engineering, Nagoya University. Since October 2009, he has been an Assistant Professor at the Center of Micro-Nano Mechatronics, Nagoya University. His current research interests include the applications of micro/nanomanipulation, micro/nanoassembly, micro/nanofabrication, micro/nanodevices, micro/nanomechanics, and micro/nanobiology.


We proposed bio-manipulation systems in microscale to nanoscale under various microscopes. A hybrid microscope was developed with an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (E-SEM) and an Optical Microscope (OM). This system provid e us internal information of manipulated C. elegans from OM and high resolutio n manipulation for water-containing condition by E-SEM. To obtain 3D internal information, SEM-Computed Tomography (CT) system was used under E-SEM for nano injection detection of C. elegans. We also proposed a unique suction micro-cha nnel to trap C. elegans inside a microchannel during microinjection operation under an OM.



Keisuke Morishima

Professor, Osaka University, Japan

Title: Construction and Functional Emergence of Bioactuated MicroNanoSystem and Living Machined Wet Robotics


Dr. Keisuke Morishima is a Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and The Center for Advanced Medical Engineering and Informatics, Osaka University, JAPAN; he graduated from Nagoya University where he received his PhD in Engineering in 1998. In 1997, he was JSPS Postdoctoral Research Fellow. From 1998 to 2001, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, USA. He joined Kanagawa Academy of Science and Technology as a Research Scientist in 2001. In 2004, he was a Visiting Research Fellow at Lund Institute of Technology, Sweden. In 2005, he joined Department of Mechanical Systems Engineering, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology as an Associate Professor. In 2007, he joined Department of Bio-Mechanics and Intelligent Systems, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Japan. In 2011, he moved to Department of Mechanical Engineering, Osaka University as a Professor. He is mainly engaging in the research fields of Micro-Nano Robotics and its application to the micro-nanomanipulation, bio automation, BioMEMS, MicroTAS, microactuators, medical applications, living machine, soft & wet nano robotics, regenerative medicine. In recent years, he received 2009 Best Paper Award, The Robotics Society of Japan, 2009 The Young Scientists’ Prize, The Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, 2006 Young Scientist Award, Ando Foundation.



Hirotaka Sato

Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Title: Insect Computer Hybrid Robot for Flight and Walking Control


Dr. Hirotaka Sato received his B.S. , M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Waseda University in 2000, 2002 and 2005.  He was Research Assistant Professor at Waseda University during 2005-2006. He worked as Post Doc at University of Michigan in 2007 and University of California Berkeley during 2008-2011. His research interests include MEMS, insect flight control, insect-computer hybrid robot, biofuel cell and electrochemistry. His work on insect-computer hybrid robot was selected as The 10 Emerging Technologies of 2009 (MIT Technology Review) and The 50 Best Inventions of 2009 (TIME magazine).


We have designed and manufactured a miniature wireless communication device which can be mounted on a living insect and electrically stimulate its neuromuscular site. With the device, we have developed stimulation protocols to induce our desired motions and behaviors in flight and walking. Through this research, we have discovered that a tiny flight muscle, which had been thought to solely function in folding wing, has another function in left and right turnings in air [1]. For walking control, by electrically stimulating multiple leg muscles under pre-determined sequences, we successfully control the step length, speed in walking and demonstrated different walking gaits [2]. The developed technology of the hybrid robot is attempted for rescue and search missions in disaster-hit area in future.

The work is financially supported by Nanyang Assistant Professorship (NAP, M4080740), MOE Academic Research Fund in Singapore: Tier 1 Grant (2015-T1-001-094) and Tier 2 Grant (2013-T2-2-049).

[1] Hirotaka Sato et al. (2015). Deciphering the Role of a Coleopteran Steering Muscle via Free Flight Stimulation. Current Biology, 25(6), 798-803. [Link to the paper]
[2] Feng Cao et al. (2016). Insect–computer hybrid legged robot with user-adjustable speed, step length and walking gait. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 13(116), 20160060. [Link to the paper]




Toshio Fukuda

Professor Emeritus, Nagoya University, Japan

Title: Bio-cell Assembly of Artificial Tissue for Future Cyborg and Bionic Systems

Bio-cell Assembly of Artificial Tissue Engineering for Future Cyborg and Bionic Systems


Dr. Toshio Fukuda graduated from Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan in 1971 and received the Master of Engineering degree and the Doctor of Engineering degree both from the University of Tokyo, in 1973 and 1977, respectively. He joined the National Mechanical Engineering Laboratory in Japan in 1977, the Science University of Tokyo in 1981, and then joined Department of Mechanical Engineering, Nagoya University, Japan in 1989. He is Professor Emeritus of Dept. of Micro and Nano System Engineering and Dept. of Mechano- Informatics and Systems, Nagoya University, Japan. He is mainly engaging in the research fields of intelligent robotic system, micro and nano robotics, bio-robotic system, and technical diagnosis and error recovery system.

He was the President of IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (1998-1999), Director of the IEEE Division X, Systems and Control (2001-2002), the Founding President of IEEE Nanotechnology Council (2002-2005), and Region 10 Director-elect (2011-2012). He was Editor-in-Chief of IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatronics (2000-2002). He was the Founding General Chairman of IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) held in Tokyo (1988). He was Founding Chair of the IEEE Workshop on Advanced Robotics Technology and Social Impacts (ARSO, 2005), Founding Chair of the IEEE Workshop on System Integration Internatioal (SII, 2008), Founding Chair of the International Symposium on Micro- Nano Mechatronics and Human Science (MHS, 1990-2011).


Bio-cell assembly of artificial tissue is a promising technique for the altern ative way of animal experiments, and pharmacological assays, or realizing a me dical simulator and replacement of damaged tissues or organs inside our body.
To duplicate a native body conditions, cell-to-cell and cell-to-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions are important parameters for artificial tissue fabri cation. This presentation presents a research direction of bio-cell assembly o f artificial tissue for future cyborg and bionic systems.



Metin Sitti

Director, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Germany

Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, USA

Title: Biohybrid Bacteria-driven Microswimmers


Dr. Metin Sitti received the BSc and MSc degrees in electrical and electronics engineering from Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, in 1992 and 1994, respectively, and the PhD degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, in 1999. He was a research scientist at UC Berkeley during 1999-2002. He has been a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA since 2002. He is currently a director at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart. His research interests include small-scale physical intelligence, mobile microrobotics, bio-inspired materials and miniature robots, soft robotics, and micro-/nanomanipulation. He is an IEEE Fellow. He received the SPIE Nanoengineering Pioneer Award in 2011 and NSF CAREER Award in 2005. He received many best paper, video and poster awards in major robotics and adhesion conferences. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Micro-Bio Robotics.




Arianna Menciassi

Professor, The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy

Title: Small-scale Robots for Biomedical Applications


Arianna Menciassi is Full Professor of Biomedical Robotics at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and team leader of the “Surgical Robotics & Allied Technologies” Area at The BioRobotics Institute. Last year she was Visiting Professor at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Mecaniques et des Microtechniques (ENSMM) of Besancon (France), in the FEMTO Institute, and she was Visiting Professor at the ISIR Institute at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, in Paris. She has considerable experience in leading interdisciplinary teams toward successful outcomes. Furthermore, she has a substantial devotion to training and education, both at SSSA and at the University of Pisa, having served as preceptor to 15 postdoctoral associates, 20 PhD students and ~ 50 graduate degree recipients.

Her main research interests involve biomedical robotics, microsystem technology, nanotechnology and micromechatronics, with a special attention to the synergy between robot-assisted therapy and micro-nano-biotechnology-related solutions. She also focuses on magnetically-driven microrobots and microdevices, as well as on biomedical integrated platforms for magnetic navigation and ultrasound-based treatments.

She carries on an important activity of scientific management of several projects (more than 20), European and extra-European, thus implying many collaborations abroad and an intense research activity.

She is co-author of more than 370 scientific publications (more than 230 on international journals) and 7 book chapters on biomedical robots/devices and microtechnology. She is co-Editor of a book on piezoelectric nanomaterials for biomedical applications. She is also inventor of 25 patents, national and international. She has a H-index of 55 and a total of 11,206 citations according to the Scholar source and a H-index of 42 and a total of 6,335 citations according to the Scopus source.

She served until August 2013 in the Editorial Board of the IEEE-ASME Trans. on Mechatronics and she is now Topic Editor in Medical Robotics of the International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems; she is Co-Chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Surgical Robotics, she is the Nanotechnology Technical Committee representative of the steering committee of the IEEE Transactions on Nanobioscience.

In the year 2007, she received the Well-tech Award (Milan, Italy) for her researches on endoscopic capsules, and she was awarded by the Tuscany Region with the Gonfalone D’Argento, as one of the best 10 young talents of the region.


Actuation is a critical issue that deeply affects the design of biomedical devices, especially at small scales. This talk aims at providing an overview of the technological strategies pursued by our research group in making small scale robots able to navigate and perform therapeutic actions in different body areas. The talk will highlight that remote force fields constitute a reliable option for centimeter- and millimeter-scale robots [1,2], while biohybrid technologies constitute an exciting opportunity to provide millimeter- and micrometer-scale robots with on-board actuators, thus overcoming miniaturization and scaling issues that affect all artificial motors [3-5]. Different strategies that can be pursued in the field of biohybrid actuation will be described, together with the most recent results achieved.

[1] Ciuti, G., Valdastri, P., Menciassi, A., & Dario, P. (2010). Robotic magnetic steering and locomotion of capsule endoscope for diagnostic and surgical endoluminal procedures. Robotica, 28(02), 199-207. [Link to the paper]

[2] Iacovacci, V., Lucarini, G., Ricotti, L., Dario, P., Dupont, P. E., & Menciassi, A. (2015). Untethered magnetic millirobot for targeted drug delivery. Biomedical microdevices, 17(3), 63. [Link to the paper]

[3] Ricotti, L., & Menciassi, A. (2012). Bio-hybrid muscle cell-based actuators. Biomedical microdevices, 14(6), 987-998. [Link to the paper]

[4] Vannozzi, L., Ricotti, L., Cianchetti, M., Bearzi, C., Gargioli, C., Rizzi, R., … & Menciassi, A. (2015). Self-assembly of polydimethylsiloxane structures from 2D to 3D for bio-hybrid actuation. Bioinspiration & biomimetics, 10(5), 056001. [Link to the paper]

[5] Ricotti, L., & Fujie, T. (2017). Thin polymeric films for building biohybrid microrobots. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 12(2), 021001. [Link to the paper]




Gih-Keong LAU

Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Title: Energetically Efficient Flapping Flight


Dr. Gih-Keong LAU is an assistant professor with the school of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University. He received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, in 2004, and the M.Eng. and B.Eng degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Nanyang Technological University in 2000 and 1998 respectively. His research focuses on micro-electro-mechanical systems, micro-actuators, dielectric elastomer actuators, soft robots, compliant mechanisms, flapping-wing micro air vehicles, and multi-functional windows based on micro-wrinkling, tunable optics and acoustics.

He is a recipient of a Meinhardt Book Prize in 1998 and Tan Chin Tuan Fellowship in 2015. He was a visiting professor to École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in June 2015.  He has been active in serving the university and academic societies. He has been serving as a board member from 2015 to 2017 at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University. He is an associate editor to the 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2017). He was a member of international advisory boards in the International Conference – Smart and Multifunctional Materials, Devices, Structures (CIMTEC) in 2012 and 2016.


Few flapping-wing micro air vehicles (FWMAV) can hover due to the high energetic costs required for hovering, in particular for wing’s inertial work. This study shows that insect-inspired elastic storage can scale up and improve the energetic efficiency of a bird-size FWMAV. The spring assisted clapping of the large X wings (240mm span) at 15Hz enables the hovering of a 13.4g micro air vehicles and produces a maximum thrust of 20.7gram at 20 Hz. Such FWMAV using elastic storage shows power efficiency as high as 95% of the rated propeller for the 3.1gram motor used. This improved energetic efficiency of flapping flight makes hovering possible, in addition the forward flight.

The work is financially supported by Future Systems and Technology Directorate  of MINDEF through Temasek Laboratories at National University of Singapore.

[1] Lau, Gih-Keong, et al. “Dipteran-insect-inspired thoracic mechanism with nonlinear stiffness to save inertial power of flapping-wing flight.” IEEE Transactions on Robotics 30.5 (2014): 1187-1197. [Link to the paper]





Pablo Valdivia y Alvarado

Assistant Professor, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore

Title: Opportunities and challenges for small-scale soft robots and potential applications to bio-hybrid machines


Dr. Valdivia y Alvarado is an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Product Development Pillar at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, and a Research Affiliate in the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT and the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology. He received his Ph.D., M.Sc., and B.Sc. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests include: soft robotics, bio-inspired design, additive manufacturing processes for soft composites, and unsteady locomotion and sensing in fluids. Dr. Valdivia y Alvarado was recognized with an MIT’s Technology Review 2012 TR35 Young Innovator Award for South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand for his contributions to novel vehicles for long-term exploration of harsh environments.


Soft robot technologies offer tremendous opportunities for improved hardware functionality. New fabrication techniques are broadening capabilities for higher resolution features as well as the incorporation of chemistry and biology in multi-material soft composite structures. In addition, various inorganic and organic polymer materials can be used as fabrication components.
The talk will highlight some of our work on fabrication approaches that are enabling higher resolution features in the fabrication of soft polymer composite mechanisms. Fabrication materials can be functionalized to display conductivity, magnetic properties, and tailored visco-elastic properties among others features. Application examples in underwater soft mobile robots and sensors and the impact on performance of such new fabrication techniques will be presented. Potential applications to bio-hybrid machines and challenges for small-scale mechanisms will also be discussed.





Sukho Park

Professor, Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea

Title: Cell Based Biomedical Microrobots


Dr.Sukho Park earned his Master’s degree (1995) and Ph.D. (2000) in Mechanical Engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Korea. From 2000 to 2004, he worked as a senior research engineer at LG Electronics Production Research Center, Korea. From 2004 to 2006, he worked as a senior researcher of Microsystem Research Center in the Korea Institute of Science and Technology. From 2006 to 2016, he worked as a professor of the School of Mechanical Engineering in Chonnam National University and a section head of the robot research initiative (RRI). In 2017, he moved to Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), where he is now a full professor in Department of Robotics Engineering. His research interests are microactuator/robot and micromanipulation for biomedical instrumental applications.


Recently, various types of biomedical microrobots have been developed for the use in bioengineering and healthcare applications. Generally, microrobots can approach to complicated and small regions of human body and perform non-invasive or minimally invasive manipulations to targeted areas. In this talk, I will briefly introduce our several researches on cell based biomedical microrobots, such as bacteria based microrobot, immune cell based microrobot, and stem cell delivery microrobot. The bacteria based microrobot and the immune cell based microrobot will be used for tumor therapy and the stem cell delivery microrobot will be used for cartilage regeneration treatment. We will present the fabrication procedures and the feasibilities of the proposed cell based microrobots. Consequently, I expect that this talk can give us an insight on new concepts of cell based microrobots for biomedical applications.



Shin-ichiro M. NOMURA

Associate Professor, Tohoku University, Japan

Title: Molecular Robot: An artificial molecular system constructed by integration of molecular machines


Dr. Shin-ichiro Nomura received his B.S. degree from theShizuoka University (1997), M.S. degree from the Nagoya University(1999), and Dr. of Science degree from the Kyoto University (2002). He then worked five years in Tokyo Medical & Dental University as post-doc and as Research Associate Professor (junior). Next, he spent three years in WPI iCeMS, Kyoto Univ. (2008-2011). Then he joined the Tohoku University. He was a researcher of JST PRESTO (Structures and control of interfaces). His research interests creating living phenomena in a molecular level, artificial cells and molecular robotics.


We have composed an amoeba-like molecular robot, which exhibits motility (e.g. changing shape) by molecular motors controlled by an artificial DNA signal. All of the molecular components (molecular motors, clutch system, energy regeneration system, etc.) were integrated into microcapsule (giant vesicle) made of lipid bilayer membrane (Figure). The vesicle showed continuous shape changing behavior, and it was stopped by the DNA signal. The process vice versa, namely, the shape change can be initiated by an input of the signal(photo-induced molecular signal). These results show that the components of the robot were consistently integrated into a functional system[1]. We expect that this study can provide a platform to build increasingly complex and functional molecular systems with controllable motility. In addition, we also would like to introduce a possible application of giant vesicle technology for bioengineering field with culturing cells[2].

This research is supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers JP24104004, JP15H02774, JP15H01715, JP16J02406 and AMED-CREST 16gm0810001h0102.

[1] Yusuke Sato et al. (2017). Micrometer-sized molecular robot changes its shape in response to signal molecules. Science Robotics, 2(4), DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aal3735. [Link to the paper]

[2] Akira C. Saito et al. (2014). Introducing Micrometer-Sized Artificial Objects into Live Cells:A Method for Cell-Giant Unilamellar Vesicle Electrofusion. PLoS ONE 9(9): e106853, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0106853 [Link to the paper]