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Making Robots for Humans: Robotics Experts Present at ICRA 2023

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From robotics surgery to better algorithms for robots working in teams with humans, researchers at the UC San Diego Contextual Robotics Institute are presenting 16 papers at the ICRA 2023 conference from May 29 to June 2 in London. 

The conference, organized by IEEE, brings together academics, researchers and industry representatives. This year’s theme is “Embracing the future: making robots for humans.” 

In keeping with the conference’s aim, the researchers are presenting work that will make it easier for humans to work with robots in a variety of scenarios. 

“This is a strong showing from our robotics faculty. I am looking forward to even more research breakthroughs and interdisciplinary collaboration as our faculty has moved into Franklin Antonio Hall, which is designed to boost the circulation of people and ideas even further.” said Henrik Christensen, director of the UC San Diego Contextual Robotics Institute and a professor in the UC San Diego Department of Computer Science and Engineering. 

In addition to 16 papers at the conference the faculty are also involved in organizing three workshops. 

Here are this year’s papers by UC San Diego faculty members, listed by research group in alphabetical order. 

Nikolai Atanasov

LEMURS: Learning Distributed Multi-robot Interactions

E. Sebastian, T. Duong, N. Atanasov, E. Montijano, C. Sagues, ", IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)," 2023

Information-theoretic Abstraction of Semantic Octree Models for Integrated Perception and Planning
D. Larsson, A. Asgharivaskasi, J. Lim, N. Atanasov, P. Tsiotras IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (IPreprint:

Learning Continuous Control Policies for Information-Theoretic Active Perception
P. Yang, Y. Liu, S. Koga, A. Asgharivaskasi, N. Atanasov,  IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2023


Sean Gao

 Learning Stabilization Control from Observations by Learning Lyapunov-like Proxy Models

Milan Ganai, Chiaki Hirayama, Ya-Chien Chang, Sicun Gao

Accelerating Multi-Agent Planning using Graph Transformers with Near-Optimal Guarantees

Chenning Yu, Qingbiao Li, Sicun Gao, Amanda Prorok



Tania Morimoto

Image Segmentation for Continuum Robots from a Kinematic Prior

Connor M. Watson, Anna B. Nguyen and Tania K. Morimoto

"HaPPArray: Haptic Pneumatic Pouch Array for Feedback in Hand-Held Robots"

Xiaolei Luo, Jui-Te Lin and Tania K. Morimoto

A generalized framework for concentric tube robot design using gradient-based optimization

Jui-Te Lin, Cedric Girerd, Jiayao Yan, John T. Hwang and Tania K. Morimoto


Xiaolong Wang

Efficient Bimanual Handover and Rearrangement via Symmetry-Aware Actor-Critic Learning

Yunfei Li, Chaoyi Pan, Huanze Xu, and Yi Wu, Tsinghua University

Xiaolong Wang, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, UC San Diego


Michael Yip

Suture thread spline reconstruction from endoscopic images for robotic surgery with reliability-driven keypoint detection

Neelay Joglekar, Fei Liu, Ryan Orosco, Michael Yip 

Image-based Pose Estimation and Shape Reconstruction for Robot Manipulators and Soft, Continuum Robots via Differentiable Rendering

Jingpei Lu, Fei Liu, Cedric Girerd and Michael C. Yip

Real-Time Constrained 6D Object-Pose Tracking of An In-Hand Suture Needle for Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery

Zih-Yun Chiu, Florian Richter and Michal Yip

DiffCo: auto-differentiable proxy collision detection with multi-class labels for safety-aware trajectory optimization

Yuheng Zhi, Nikhil Das and Michael Yip

Semantic-SuPer: a semantic-aware surgical perception framework for endoscopic tissue identification, reconstruction and tracking

Shan Lin, Albert J. Miao, Jingpei Lu, Shunkai Yu, Zih-Yun Chiu, Florian Richter and Michael C. Yip

Mobility Analysis of Screw-Based Location and Propulsion in Various Media

Jason Lim, Calvin Joyce, Elizabeth Peiros, Mingwei Yeoh, Peter V. Gavrilov, Sara G. Wickenhiser, Dimitri A. Schreiber, Florian Richter and Michael C. Yip

Design and Mechanics of Cable-Driven Rolling Diaphragm Transmission for High-Transparency Robotic Motion

Hoi Man Lam, Jared Walker, Lucas Jonasch, Dimitri A. Schreiber, Michael C. Yip

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