Prof. Cecilia Laschi

Provost’s Chair Professor, National University of Singapore

Soft Robotics: from pioneering challenges to current achievements and perspectives

Short Bio:
Cecilia Laschi is Provost’s Chair Professor of robotics at the National University of Singapore, leading the Soft Robotics Lab. She is Co-Director of CARTIN – Centre for Advanced Robotics Technology and Innovation. She is on leave from Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Italy, The BioRobotics Institute (Dept. of Excellence in Robotics & AI). She graduated in Computer Science at the University of Pisa and received a Ph.D. in Robotics from the University of Genoa. She received a Honorary Doctorate from the University of Southern Denmark, Odense, in 2023. She was JSPS visiting researcher at the Humanoid Robotics Institute of Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan.
Cecilia Laschi is best-known for her research in soft robotics, an area that she pioneered and contributed to develop at international level. She investigates fundamental challenges for building robots with soft materials, with a bioinspired approach which started with a study of the octopus as a model for robotics. She explores marine applications of soft robots and their use in the biomedical field, with a focus on eldercare. She has worked in humanoid and neuro-robotics, applying brain models in humanoid robots.
She is Editor-in-Chief of Bioinspiration & Biomimetics and Specialty Chief Editor of Soft Robotics in Frontiers in Robotics & AI. She serves in the Editorial Boards of Science Robotics and IEEE Robotics & Automation Letters. She serves as evaluators for the EC (incl. ERC programme), HFSP and national research agencies.
She is IEEE Fellow and member of other scientific societies, like AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), and the IEEE Robotics & Automation Society (RAS), where she was elected twice as AdCom member and is founding co-chair of the Technical Committee (TC) on Soft Robotics. She founded and chaired the 1 st  IEEE-RAS International Conference on Soft Robotics (RoboSoft) in 2018, serving now in its Steering Committee. She is Co-Chair of Gordon Research Conference on Robotics 2024.
She co-founded the spin-off company RoboTech, in edutainment robotics.