Duckies and Robots: a poetic tribute

ICRA is the largest conference on Robotics and Automation. This year, the robotics community reflected on the strong and natural relationship between robots and rubber duckies. This is the result:

Duckies and Robots: Selected Poems

Please vote your favorite poem using this form. We will award a special prize (a functional duckie-robot hybrid) to the author of the most favorited poem.

Duckies and Robots: a video tribute

Furthermore, the robotics community created a series of video tributes to the rubber duckies.

Episode 1: Flying robots

These are the papers featured in this episode. Please feel free to contact the authors for more information.

Dynamic Underactuated Flying-Walking (DUCK) Robot

Christopher J. Pratt and Kam K. Leang

University of Utah Robotics Center, University of Utah

Saccade Mirror 3: High-speed gaze controller with ultra wide gaze control range using triple rotational mirrors

Kazuhisa Iida, Hiromasa Oku

Gunma University

Trajectory Generation for Quadrotor based Systems using Numerical Optimal Control

Mathieu Geisert, Nicolas Mansard


The Flying Monkey: a Mesoscale Robot that can Run, Fly, and Grasp

Yash Mulgaonkar, Brandon Araki, Je-sung Koh, Luis Guerrero-Bonilla, Daniel M. Aukes, Anurag Makineni, Michael T. Tolley, Daniela Rus, Robert J. Wood, Vijay Kumar

UPenn, Harvard, MIT, UCSD

Episode 2: Daily life activities

These are the papers featured in this episode. Please feel free to contact the authors for more information.

Multi-Sensor Surface Analysis for Robotic Ironing

Yinxiao Li, Xiuhan Hu, Danfei Xu, Yonghao Yue, Eitan Grinspun, Peter K. Allen

Columbia University

Deep Spatial Autoencoders for Visuomotor Learning

Chelsea Finn, Xin Yu Tan, Yan Duan, Trevor Darrell, Sergey Levine, Pieter Abbeel

UC Berkeley

An ISO10218-compliant adaptive damping controller for safe Physical Human-Robot Interaction

Benjamin Navarro, Andrea Cherubini, Aicha Fonte, Robin Passama, Gerard Poisson, and Philippe Fraisse

PRISME Laboratory, University of Orléans

Robotic Disease Detection in Greenhouses

Noa Schor, Avital Bechar, Timea Ignat, Aviv Dombrovsky, Yigal Elad, Sigal Berman

ABC robotics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Interactive Computational Imaging for Deformable Object Analysis

Donald G. Dansereau, Surya P. N. Singh, Jurgen Leitner

Australian Centre for Robotic Vision, Queensland University of Technology

Episode 3: Incredible machines

These are the papers featured in this episode. Please feel free to contact the authors for more information.

Printable Hydraulics: A Method for Fabricating Robots by 3D Co-Printing Solids and Liquids

Robert MacCurdy, Robert Katzschmann, Youbin Kim, Daniela Rus


Triple Scissor Extender: A 6-DOF Lifting and Positioning Robot

Daniel J. Gonzalez and H. Harry Asada


Hierarchical Planning of Dynamic Movements without Scheduled Contact Sequences

Carlos Mastalli, Ioannis Havoutis, Michele Focchi, Darwin G. Caldwell, Claudio Semini

Department of Advanced Robotics, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)

The effect of shapes in input-state linearization for stabilization of nonprehensile planar rolling dynamic manipulation

Vincenzo Lippiello, Fabio Ruggiero, Bruno Siciliano

University of Naples

Aggressive Driving with Model Predictive Path Integral Control

Grady Williams, Paul Drews, Brian Goldfain, James Rehg, and Evangelos A. Theodorou

Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Georgia Institute of Technology

Episode 4: Mini-micro robots

These are the papers featured in this episode. Please feel free to contact the authors for more information.

Modular Hydraulic Propulsion: A Robot that Moves by Routing Fluid Through Itself

Matthew J. Doyle, Xinyu Xu, Yue Gu, Fernando Perez-Diaz, Christopher Parrott and Roderich Groß

University of Sheffield

Visual Tracking of Biopsy Needles in 2D Ultrasound Images

Mert Kaya, Enes Senel, Awais Ahmad, Ozkan Bebek

Ozyegin University

Compensation for Unconstrained Catheter Shaft Motion in Cardiac Catheters

Paul M. Loschak, Alperen Degirmenci, Cory M. Tschabrunn, Elad Anter, Robert D. Howe

Harvard University

Catadioptric Stereo Tracking for Three Dimensional Shape Measurement of MRI Guided Catheters

Russell C. Jackson, Taoming Liu, and M. Cenk Cavusoglu

Case Western Reserve University

Ingestible, Controllable, and Degradable Origami Robot for Patching Stomach Wounds

Shuhei Miyashita, Steven Guitron, Kazuhiro Yoshida, Shuguang Li, Dana D. Damian, and Daniela Rus

MIT, Tokyo Institute of Technology, University of Sheffield


If you are a journalist who would like to learn more about the relevance of rubber duckies to robotics, please contact


The duckies are distributed around the world with the help of the following Duckie Ambassadors. If you need a duckie, please reach out to them.

Organizer/editor: Andrea Censi. Narration: Alessandro De Luca, Dana Kulic.