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Living Machines 2021 : Living Machines 2021. The 10th International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems


When Jul 27, 2021 - Jul 30, 2021
Where Online
Submission Deadline May 30, 2021
Notification Due Jun 15, 2021
Categories    biomimetic   biohybrid   robotics   AI

Call For Papers

Call for Participation

Living Machines 2021. The 10th International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems
27 – 30 July 2021. To be hosted online

About Living Machines 2021

The development of future real-world technologies will depend strongly on our understanding and harnessing of the principles underlying living systems and the flow of communication signals between living and artificial systems. Biomimetics is the development of novel technologies through the distillation of principles from the study of biological systems. The investigation of biomimetic systems can serve two complementary goals. First, a suitably designed and configured biomimetic artefact can be used to test theories about the natural system of interest. Second, biomimetic technologies can provide useful, elegant, and efficient solutions to unsolved science and engineering challenges. Biohybrid systems are formed by combining at least one biological component—an existing living system—and at least one artificial, newly-engineered component. Bypassing information in one or both directions, such a system forms a new hybrid bio-artificial entity. The conference theme also encompasses biomimetic methods for manufacture, repair, and recycling inspired by natural processes such as reproduction, digestion, morphogenesis, and metamorphosis.

For the 10th edition of the conference, we seek to highlight the most exciting international fields of research united by the theme of "Living Machines".

Due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 edition of the Living Machines conference will have a streamlined online format to assure continuity of the Living Machines conference, community engagement, and support.

Program and Participation to the 2021 special edition "10 years of Living Machines".

This special edition will be dedicated to reflecting on how the field of Living Machines has evolved over the last 10 years and how it will progress in the next 10 years. For this reason, we will have retrospective and prospective contributions from leaders in the field.
The following are some examples of "Living Machines" as featured at past conferences:
• Biomimetic robots and their component technologies (sensors, actuators, processors) that can intelligently interact with their environments.
• Biomimetic computers—neuromimetic emulations of the physiological basis of intelligent behaviour.
• Active biomimetic materials and structures that self-organize and self-repair or show other bio-inspired functions.
• Nature-inspired designs and manufacturing processes.
• Artificial organs and body parts, including sensory organ-chip hybrids and intelligent prostheses.
• Organism-level biohybrids such as robot-animal or robot-human systems.
• Control principles underlying embodied perception, cognition and action.
• Synthetic biology and synthetic consciousness.
• Artificial intelligence based on biomimetics.

The Living Machines 2021 program includes:

• One day Plenary Lectures July 27, 2021
As this special edition features the 10 years of Living Machines, plenary speakers will highlight the relevant contributions to the fields of biomimetics and biohybrid systems and help to address two main questions: have these fields evolved in the last 10 years, what will be their unique challenges and expected progress in the next 10 years, and how will they impact society?

• Three-days of dedicated Workshops 28-30th July 2021
Active researchers in biomimetic and biohybrid systems are invited to participate in full or half-day workshops on Living Machines related themes from 28-30 July 2021
Workshops’s speakers will be invited to submit manuscripts or participate in the preparation of perspective articles for publication in a special issue of Bioinspiration and Biomimetics following the event.
Deadline Confirmation of participation: May 30, 2021

Attendance to the plenary talks and workshops will be granted upon registration and will entail a fee of 100€, to support the recording and post-production of the lectures and their distribution.


Six Workshops
Participants to the workshops are invited to either give a short presentation or a live demonstration of their work. Please select the workshop where you would like to contribute and send your abstract (max 2000 words) to the corresponding workshop organizers.

Workshop 1: Bio-inspired Locomotion
We will bring together biologists and roboticists to explore the design and control of living machines for the purpose of locomotion in the natural world. This workshop will cover both biomechanics and neural organization, and how the systems work together to achieve effective interactions with the physical environment.
Alexander Hunt, Portland State University, US -

Workshop 2: Perspective for soft robotics: the field's past and future
The soft robotics workshop will be focused on answering five question concerning the past and future of soft robots: how to produce them; make them move, sense and think; and how to educate using soft robots? With a concluding discussion about the field's challenges for the next 5 to 10 years.
Falk Tauber, University of Freiburg, DE -
Marc Desmulliez, Heriot-Watt University, UK -

Workshop 3: Neuro Robotics
This workshop will address embodied autonomous systems, synthetic neural systems and the control principles underlying embodied perception, cognition and action.
Uriel Martinez-Hernandez, University of Bath, UK
Vicky Vouloutsi, Technology Innovation Institute, UAE

Workshop 4: "How does science on invertebrates uniquely advance robotics?"
Scientists have used invertebrates as a model to test and validate robots of different kinds. In this workshop, we will explore the work done at the intersection of robotics and the world of invertebrates and highlight the most advanced approaches where interactions between the two fields have achieved relevant insights.
Michael Mangan, University of Sheffield, UK -
Nicholas Szczecinski, West Virginia University, US

Workshop 5: It's Alive!: Biohybrid robots made from living materials.
This workshop will bring together speakers in tissue engineered biohybrid robots, bacteriobots, and cyborgs to discuss 10-years of progress in biohybrid robotics and future challenges in the field. The workshop will conclude with a panel with all the speakers to discuss the next 10-years of biohybrid robotics and living machines.
Vickie Webster-Wood, Carnegie Mellon University, US -
Masahiro Shimizu, Osaka University, Japan -

Workshop 6: Plant functions, hybrid systems, and plant robotics
This workshop is a great platform to discuss plant functions that can inspire robotics, as well as hybrid systems in which living plants become key components interacting with artificial technologies.
Fabian Meder, Italian Institute of Technology -

General Information and Workshops Acceptance Criteria
Each contribution to the proposed workshops will be reviewed by the members of the workshop program committee and ranked based on quality and scientific contribution to the Living Machines fields of interest.
Please note that the duration of each workshop might need to be adjusted based on the overall number of contributions received. Workshops attendees must register for each workshop they wish to attend.

Expected Deadlines

May 30, 2021 Expression of interest for Participation
June 15, 2021 Notification of acceptance
July 27-30, 2021 Plenary talks and Workshops

Conference Steering Committee

- Paul Verschure, IBEC, BIST, ICREA, CSN foundation, ES
- Tony Prescott, University of Sheffield, CSN foundation, UK
- Thomas Speck, University of Freiburg, DE
- Marc Desmulliez, Heriot-Watt University, UK
- Jose Halloy, Paris Diderot University, FR
- Masahiro Shimizu, Osaka University, JP
- Nathan Lepora, University of Bristol, UK
- Roger Quinn, Case Western Reserve University, US
- Joseph Ayers, Northeastern University, US
- Mark Cutkosky, Stanford University in California, US
- Barbara Mazzolai, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), IT
- Cecilia Laschi, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (SSSA), Italy
- Koh Hosoda, Osaka University, JP
- Minoru Asada, Osaka University, JP
- Anna Mura, IBEC, BIST Barcelona, CSN Foundation, ES

Communication and local organizer committee

- Anna Mura, IBEC, Barcelona, CSN Foundation (General Organization)


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