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!

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).