IROS2022 Lab tour

After IROS2022, many researchers who participated in the conference came to visit our lab. We introduced various kinds of interesting robots and advanced research developed in our lab. The structures and control methods of robots were explained in detail and their movement was demonstrated.

Below are the questions from researchers who joined the lab tour and the answers from us.

Q1:(Quadruped Robot)How to know the robot is stable when the robot lifts one foot?

A1: The robot is stable when the vertical projection of the center of gravity (COG) remains inside the support polygon formed by the robot’s feet.

Q2:(Gripper)Where does the object “absorbed” by the robot go?

A2: It depends on the application scenarios. For example, the absorbed object will be placed on a conveyor belt in the object transportation scene.

Q3: (Crawler) How does the crawler climb stairs?

A3: It is realized by an underactuated mechanism. When the crawler encounters a step or an obstacle, the rotation movement of the track will be switched to another kind of movement like a lift arm.

Q4: Are all the robots shown in slides developed in this lab?

A4: Yes. More precisely speaking, the original version or idea was derived from Malab. For example, after graduating from Malab, Prof. Kakogawa developed many kinds of pipeline robots with high performance applied in different fields.

If you are interested, please check the Ritsumeikan University Robotics webpage for more details.




IROS 2022 in Kyoto, Japan

Hello everyone, I’m Yiming Cao, a doctor student (D4) in MaLab.

I am one of the onsite participants in the 2022 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2022), which has been held in Kyoto, Japan from October 23-27, 2022.

The theme of the conference is “Embodied AI for a Symbiotic Society”. Over 3,800 onsite participants and 873 online participants attended the conference.

As an onsite presenter, I presented my research content at the conference. Personally, it was my first onsite academic presentation. I am pleased that I had the opportunity to communicate with many outstanding researchers face-to-face.

I have given a presentation on the following topic:

Yiming Cao, Longchuan Li, and Shugen Ma, A Creeping Snake-like Robot with Partial Actuation.

During the meeting, I received some constructive and valuable comments from other researchers, which will provide important references for my future research.

What I have learned from the experiences are:

(i)Introduce my research as telling a short story. Basically, the story should cover the motivation (why?), goal (what?), methods (how?), and results (so what?). Thus, while doing the research, I should think of the presentation as a big picture that hooks the viewer, to help people easily understand my work. Meanwhile, keep the story engaging, logical, and accessible.

(ii)Refine the main points while answering a question. Due to the time limitation, I should know how to answer attendee questions concisely and directly.


Presenter・Fourth year Docter’s course Yiming Cao

Yiming Cao, Longchuan Li, Shugen Ma, A Creeping Snake-Like Robot with Partial Actuation, in Proc. 2022 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2022), pp. 1202-1207, 2022, Kyoto, Japan.


Presenter・First year Master’s course Chihiro Hirose

Atsushi Kakogawa, Chihiro Hirose, Shugen Ma, A Standards-Based Pipeline Route Drawing System Using a Towed Sensing Unit, in Proc. 2022 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2022), pp. 7167-7173, 2022, Kyoto, Japan.


Presenter・First year Master’s course Kenya Murata

Atsushi Kakogawa, Kenya Murata, Shugen Ma, Vertical Bend and T-branch Travels of an Articulated Wheeled In-pipe Inspection Robot by Combining Its Joint Angle and Torque Controls, in Proc. 2022 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2022), pp. 13254-13259, 2022, Kyoto, Japan.

I am one of the volunteers of IROS 2022.

Due to COVID-19, most of the sessions were hybrid. My partner Mr. Ma Zhenxuan (M1) and I were the staffs in charge of Room 7 (Room E) of the conference. The specific work of us was to ensure that both onsite and online presenters could successfully present their research and discuss with each other.

What I have learned from the experiences are:

  1. When encountering a problem, BE POSITIVE. That means taking problem-solving as a priority and being sedated to deal with problems.
  2. Combine past failure experiences and use divergent thinking to consider problems that we might encounter in advance. The goal is to break big tasks down into details.


I am the MC of the conference event at IROS 2022. My task is to keep an event moving and to introduce contributed chairs to the audience. Thanks to the trust of our Prof. Shugen Ma, I have learned many important abilities to be an MC, such as how to capture and maintain the attention of the guests, and skillfully deal with emergent phenomena.


During the conference, we enjoyed the performance of Wadaiko, which is known as the heartbeat of Japan, as well as the amazing Japanese fireworks, Hanabi.

It’s my great honor to participate in IROS 2022, thanks to Prof. Ma, Prof. Tian, Prof. Li, Prof. Kakogawa, and the kind members in MaLab. I learned a lot from the conference, not only for my research but also for my whole life experience. I’ll keep them in mind and do my best in my future life.


Volunteer of IROS 2022

I am Yang Zhang, a doctoral student in the BioInMech Laboratory of Ritsumeikan University. It is a great honor to be a volunteer of IROS 2022 (Kyoto, 10.23-10.27), which is the first international top-level conference I have attended since I came to Japan, and also my supervisor, Professor Shugen Ma, was the general chair. During this period, I worked with the team to complete the service work conscientiously and successfully. There are some personal experiences.

  1. Gain work skills

Serving international top conferences is a recognized job that helps to gain more experience in the field of robotics. As a volunteer in the Discussion Room, it was a challenge to answer the various questions of the participants in a timely and accurate manner, which improves my ability to quickly find information and express it.


  1. Improve professional skills

The committee provided free participation opportunities for volunteers, allowing me to learn from experts in robotics throughout the conference. By following speeches and exhibitions of interest, I was exposed to new information that prompted me to think in the context of my topic. For example, focusing on the speeches and publications out of interest in topics such as bionic robots, medical robots, and mechanisms.


  1. Networking

The pandemic has made face-to-face communication a luxury, but procedures like antigen testing of IROS 2022 have made it possible. At the meeting, I attended speeches of experts such as Professor Shugen Ma, Professor Paolo Dario, and Professor Nassir Navab. And also talked about research with friends from the UK and other regions. Similar interests, passions, and challenges can unlock many new ideas and opportunities.


  1. Future

Volunteering at the top conference in robotics is an incredible experience and learning opportunity, which is a fond memory. In the future, based on the accumulation of theory and technology, I will actively participate in conferences in the field of robotics, meet friends, and share research!

News about the best student paper from RCAR 2020 conference

From September 28 to 29, “2020 IEEE International Conference on Real-time Computing and Robotics (IEEE RCAR 2020) was held online. Mr. SUN Haonan (D2) from our lab gave a presentation with the following topic:

Haonan Sun, Yang Tian, Shugen Ma and Shuya Inoue, Evaluation of Energy Efficiency of an Eccentric Paddle Mechanism on Sandy Terrain

On the conference, Mr. SUN received several constructive and valuable comments from other researchers, which would definitely provide important references for further study. Fortunately, the submission also has been selected as the winner of the “Best Student Paper” award.

SUN best student 201012





ROBOMECH2020 was held from May 27th to 29th, 2020, and eight members from our laboratory have made poster presentations.

Due to COVID-19, this was the first time the event was held online. We used chatting and web conferencing services to present and communicate with each other while viewing the uploaded posters.

ROBOMECH has always been in a poster presentation style where the presenters can interact with each other actively, and the online session was no different. We had a very good experience with sharp questions and advices. In addition, the online form also had extra advantage that allowed us to view the posters easily, regardless of the location or exhibition time.

It was a pity that we were not able to post photos of ROBOMECH this year as we have done in previous years, because the event was not held onsite. However, we did feel the bustle of ROBOMECH even though it was held online.

Kanta Kato, M1

〇冨田拓基、田陽(発表者), 馬書根「光反射による錆教習データを用いた機械学習の錆検出性能評価」

〇柴田大地(発表者), 馬書根, 田陽, 加藤貫太 「ベルヌーイグリッパーのエネルギー損失要素の特定」

〇加藤貫太(発表者), 馬書根, 田陽, 柴田大地 「完全非接触な安定把持機構の検討」

〇Chengxiao Ding(発表者), Shugen Ma, Yang Tian 「Development of a Tiny and Lightweight 3D Measurement Device」


〇勝間洋平(発表者), 馬書根, 加古川篤「バイナリ制御を用いたヘビ型ロボットの高効率な運動の検討」

〇小川恭平, 加古川篤(発表者),川村貞夫,馬書根「ロボット用せん断支持型高分子弾性要素の機械特性」

〇櫛谷侑太郎(発表者), 馬書根,加古川篤「1自由度能動関節のみを用いた連結車輪型管内移動ロボットの T 字管走行」

ROBIO2018 @ Kuala Lumpur

Dr. Tian and Dr. Zhang gave presentations in ROBIO 2018 ( 2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics ) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during 12th-15th December 2018.

  • Guoteng Zhang, Yang Tian, Taihei Kawabata, and Shugen Ma, Modeling and Experimental Tests for the Voltage-Induced Response of a Circular Dielectric Elastomer Actuator, in Proc. 2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO 2018), pp. 916-921, 2018, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Yang Tian and Shugen Ma, An Analysis about the Problem of SLAM in Tunnel-like Environment with Serpentine Locomotion and Its Solution, in Proc. 2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO 2018), pp. 1626-1631, 2018, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.



Yoshimichi Oka won Toshio Fukuda Best Paper Award in Mechatronics at the ICMA 2018!

Yoshimichi Oka, 2st-year master course, won Toshio Fukuda Best Paper Award in Mechatronics at The 2018 IEEE International Conference on Mechatronics and Automation (ICMA 2018) held in Changchun, China!

ICRA 2018 @ Brisbane

Prof. Kakogawa and Mr. Qiu (D3) gave presentations in The 2018 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2018) held in Brisbane, Australia during 20th-25th May 2018.

  • Atsushi Kakogawa, Soo Jeon, and Shugen Ma,Stiffness Design of a Resonance-Based Planar Snake Robot With Parallel Elastic Actuators
  • Zhe Qiu and Ryuta Ozawa, A Sensorless Collision Detection Approach Based on Virtual Contact Points








IROS 2017 @ Vancouver

Prof. Ma, Prof. Kakogawa, and Mr. Shen (D2) gave presentations in IROS 2017 (The 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems) held in Vancouver, Canada during 24th-28th September 2017.

  • Fabian Reyes and Shugen Ma, Snake Robots in Contact with the Environment: Influence of the Friction on the Applied Wrench, in Proc. 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2017), pp. 5790-5795, 2017, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Atsushi Kakogawa, Yuki Komurasaki and Shugen Ma, Anisotropic Shadow-based Operation Assistant for a Pipeline-inspection Robot using a Single Illuminator and Camera, in Proc. 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2017), pp. 1305-1310, 2017, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Yayi Shen, Yi Sun, Huayan Pu and Shugen Ma, Experimental Verification of the Oscillating Paddling Gait for an ePaddle-EGM Amphibious Locomotion Mechanism, in Proc. 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS2017), 2017, Vancouver, Canada, DOI: 10.1109/LRA.2017.2707124, (Published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 2017).






ROBIO2016(IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics),which Prof. Ma served as a gerenal chair, was held in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China on December 3rd-7th 2016, and it ended successfully. Prof.Kakogawa and Mr.Tian(D4) made research presentations.