RSS 2015 workshop

Towards a Unifying Framework for Whole-body and Manipulation Control

Full-day Workshop @ RSS 2015 

July 17th, 2015 - Rome, Italy


  • Francesco Nori.
    • Robotics Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia.  
  • Maximo A. Roa.
    • DLR German Aerospace Center, Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics. 
  • Daniele Pucci.
    • Robotics Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department, Istituto Italiano di Tecnolgia. .
  • Edoardo Farnioli.
    • Advanced Robotics Department, Istituto Italiano di Tecnolgia.
  • Marco Gabiccini.
    • Department of Mechanical, Nuclear and Production Engineering, University of Pisa. 
  • Antonio Bicchi.
    • Istituto Italiano di Tecnolgia and Research Center "E. Piaggio'', University of Pisa.


 Related IEEE technical committees: 

  1. TC on "Humanoid Robotics"
  2. TC on "Whole-Body Control"
  3. TC on "Robotic Hands, Grasping and Manipulation"
  4. TC on "Mobile Manipulation"


Manipulation and whole-body motion control are two of the most active research areas in the robotic community. Interestingly enough, there are structural similari- ties between the mathematical models of a robotic hand manipulating an object and a humanoid robot in contact with the environment. For instance, both systems are redun- dant, underactuated, and constrained by the interaction with the environment. Despite these similarities, manipulation and whole-body control have developed along different directions by two hardly connected communities. The relevant differences arise in the modelling of the contacts (e.g. soft-finger contacts vs. rigid contacts), in the adopted stability criteria (e.g. force closure vs. zero moment point conditions), and in the sim- plified models used for control design (e.g. quasi-static manipulation vs. linear inverted pendulum model).

The goal of the present workshop is to invite experts in manipulation and whole-body control to discuss similarities and differences in their respective research areas. Speakers will be invited to discuss the possibility of developing a unique framework that allows both manipulation and whole-body motion control.


  • Contacts planning and control
  • Whole-body task control
  • Compliant whole-body movements
  • Dynamics in humanoid robots
  • Machine learning and optimization methods for contact planning and control

Program for the day:





 F. Nori - IIT  - pdf


 A. Del Prete - LAAS, CNRS - pdf


 K. Hauser - Duke University - pdf


10:00 - 10:30



Coffee break



 M. Ciocarlie - Columbia University - pdf


 S. Kim - MIT - pdf


 A. Bicchi - University of Pisa, IIT - pdf




Lunch break RSS2015-WholeBody


 S. Shaal - USC, Max-Planck-Insitute pdf


 E. Todorov - Washington University - pdf





Coffee break



 Q.-C. Pham - NTU - pdf


 D. Prattichizzo - University of Siena - pdf


 M. A. Roa - DLR pdf




Round table 

Related EU projects:

  • CoDyCo: whole body dynamic contacts in cognitive humanoids.
  • Softhand: a theory of soft synergies for a new generation of artificial hands.
  • Koroibot: improving humanoid walking capabilities by human-inspired mathematical models, optimization and learning

Additional information