9th International Summer School on

Screw-Theory Based Methods in Robotics

July 25 – August 2, 2020

Postponed — Information will follow

Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands


Dear participant/speaker,

The safety and well-being of all summer school participants is our priority. We have been closely monitoring the developing COVID-19 pandemic (Coronavirus). The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic, many governments have enacted travel bans and numerous state and local governments are prohibiting large or even moderately-sized public gatherings.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become impossible for us to organize the Summer School on Screw-Theory Based Method in Robotics at the TU Delft on the originally scheduled dates of July 25 to August 2. Therefore, we unfortunately have to postpone the Summer School.

The new dates are being discussed currently and will be published on this website and communicated to the participants when they are known.

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and please contact screws@summerscrews2020.org with any questions you may have.

Stay safe,

Summer Screws 2020 Organizing Committee

Call for Participants

Following the successful editions in Beijing (2015), Montreal (2016), and Melbourne (2017) and after a three year break, the 9th IFToMM International Summer School on Screw Theory Based Methods in Robotics (Summer Screws 2020) will be organized at Delft University of Technology in Delft, The Netherlands.

The school will teach attendees how to apply existing methods and empower them to develop new ones in their own research. The basic theoretical notions will be introduced in a rigorous manner, with emphasis on examples, applications, and exercises. This summer school is aimed for Ph.D. students, Post-docs, M.Sc. students and other academic staff, as well as for participants from industry.

Download the Call for Participants here


The registration fee is 400,- €

The fee covers course materials, coffee breaks, and social events.

The number of registrations is limited and are assigned first come, first served.

To register, please send an email with a short curriculum vitae to screws@summerscrews2020.org.
After registration, an invoice will be sent for payment by bank transfer.

Important Dates

Registration starts: March 2, 2020

Summer school: July 25 – August 2, 2020 Postponed due to the current national and international restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.


The summer school will comprise full-day lectures and a half-day social event during the week.

A more detailed program will be available in due time.


Summer Screws 2020 will be held at Delft University of Technology, a world leading technical university with over 23,000 students. Beautifully located in the city of artists Johannes Vermeer and Theo Jansen, it can be reached conveniently from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (37min. by train) and Rotterdam The Hague Airport (30 min. by bike) and even by boat (Hoek van Holland / Port of Rotterdam). The beaches of the North Sea are about 12 km, direct tram ride, from Delft: The right place to eat typically Dutch brined herring or to take a fresh swim


There are numerous hotels and other accommodation options in close vicinity to the university area.
Participants are responsible for finding their own accommodation; for advice on suitable accommodation, you may contact the organizers. It is advisable to book as soon as possible due to the touristic season.

West Cord Hotel offers a discount for guests of TU Delft, please contact us for more information.


Applications of the theory of screws are based on a combined representation of angular and linear velocity, or similarly force and moment, as a single element of a six-dimensional vector space.

The importance of screw theory in robotics is widely recognised, in principle. In practice, it is almost nowhere taught to engineering students and few know how to use it. Yet, in a variety of areas in robotics, methods and formalisms based on the geometry and algebra of screws have been shown to be superior to other techniques and have led to significant advances. These include the development of fast and efficient dynamics algorithms, discoveries in the nature of robot compliance and mechanism singularity, and the invention of numerous parallel mechanisms.

The school instructors are the authors of many of these results. They will teach the participants to apply existing techniques and to develop new ones for their own research. The basic theoretical concepts will be introduced in a rigorous manner, but the emphasis will be on applications, with numerous examples and exercises.


There are many topics where screw theory based methods are applied in robotics:

Picture of Screw Theory
Screw Theory

Basic vector-space properties of twists and wrenches: physical interpretation of the linear operations; linear dependence and independence, subspaces; bases and coordinates. Screw systems: geometry and classification, invariance and persistance. (Lecturers: Dimiter Zlatanov and Marco Carricato)

Picture of Type Synthesis
Type Synthesis

Scalar products, dual spaces, reciprocity. Constraint and freedom in mechanisms. Constraint analysis. Type synthesis of single-loop mechanisms and parallel manipulators. (Lecturers: Xianwen Kong and Dimiter Zlatanov)

Picture of Differential Kinematics
Differential Kinematics

Velocity and singularity analysis of parallel and interconnected-chain mechanisms. Derivation of input-output velocity equations and singularity conditions. (Lecturers: Matteo Zoppi and Dimiter Zlatanov)

Picture of Compliance

Mappings between screw spaces, stiffness and inertia. Structure of robot compliance. Eigenvalue problems and eigenscrews. Synthesis with springs. (Lecturer: Harvey Lipkin)

Picture of Rigid Body Dynamics
Rigid Body Dynamics

6D formulation of the dynamics of individual rigid bodies and rigid-body systems. Equations of motion. Dynamics algorithms. (Lecturer: Roy Featherstone)

Picture of Lie Group Theory
Lie Group Theory

Basic Lie group theory, matrix representations of the group of rigid-body displacements.Lie algebras as related to screw theory. The exponential map andits applications in modern robotics (Lecturer: Jon Selig).

Target Audience

The school is intended for graduate students and young researchers in robotics. Participants are expected from both academia and industry.

The course delivers a comprehensive overview of the basic concepts and some of the main applications of screw-theory, and hence will be particularly attractive to doctoral students and young researchers in robotics and related fields, mechanical engineering, or applied mathematics.

As has been the case in all previous editions of Summer Screws, the advanced topics and the presentation of current progress in this very active field will also be of considerable interest to many senior researchers. The key role of the presented methods in robot design and control underpins the value of the course material to robotics experts from industry.

It is recommended that attendees have their own portable computers, preferably with Matlab and Maple. Alternative equivalent software can also be used. Some experience with (and availability of) 3D CAD software would be helpful but not required.


The lecturers are listed in the order in which they usually teach at Summer Screws. In cooperation with local hosts around the world, all have worked hard to support our school and to ensure its success for so many years. The content of the lectures is based to a large degree on the past and current research and teaching work of all.

Every member of this team shares a conviction that screw-theoretical methods play an increasingly central and crucial role in modern robotics. All know each other’s work well, and agree on the main principles and ideas which animate Summer Screws’ mission. Thus, each of the topics can be presented by a choice of several experts in that area, while all lecturers actively participate and assist attendees during the lectures, discussions, and tutorials throughout the full duration of the workshop. A selection of five to seven teachers are present in each edition.

Dimiter Zlatanov

Dimiter has used screw theory in the singularity and mobility analysis of mechanisms. He is the inventor of one of the first-known 4-dof parallel mechanisms and has presented courses and talks on screw-based methods in various universities.

Xianwen Kong

Xianwen is the inventor of numerous parallel mechanisms and the co-author of the book Type synthesis of parallel mechanisms. His results have been based on methods from screw-system theory.

Marco Carricato
(to be confirmed)

Marco has research interests in the theory of mechanisms and robotic systems, with focus on parallel robots, cable-driven manipulators and screw theory. In this summer school, he will contribute lectures on the geometry and classification of screw systems, with applications to homokinetic couplings and examples from the theory of chains with persistent screw systems, which he originated.

Matteo Zoppi

Matteo has developed screw-theoretical techniques for the derivation and application of velocity equations for complex-chain manipulators. He is also the inventor of a number of mechanisms.

Harvey Lipkin

Harvey has worked more than any one on applying screw-theoretical methods in different areas of robotics and mechanisms, such as hybrid control, compliance, vibrations, and dynamics. He has taught various aspects of screw theory and supervised graduate students in the use of such methods.

Roy Featherstone

Roy is the inventor of the Articulated-Body Dynamics Algorithm, and the author of the books Robot Dynamics Algorithms and Rigid Body Dynamics Algorithms. His ground-breaking work in dynamics has relied on a screw-theoretical formalism for the formulation of the equations of motion.

Jon Selig

Jon is the foremost specialist on advanced geometrical and group-theoretical methods in robotics. He is the author of the book Geometric Fundamentals of Robotics, and several book chapters on the application of Clifford algebras and Lie group theory. He edited and co-authored the collection Geometrical Foundations of Robotics.


In exceptional cases, the organizers may provide limited financial support and fee reduction to some participants.

To be considered, first contact the organizers as soon as possible. You will be asked to provide: a short curriculum vitae; a letter of recommendation, preferably from the current academic supervisor or a senior person at the home institution, confirming that funds are not available to fully support the travel; and a budget estimate for the total expenses of the participant to attend the summer school.

Organizing Committee

Summer Screws 2020 is organized by the group of Mechatronic Systems Design at the Department of Precision and Microsystems Engineering of the Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands.


Delft University of Technology
Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime, and Materials Engineering
Department of Precision and Microsystems Engineering
Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD Delft
The Netherlands

To contact the organizers, send an email to screws@summerscrews2020.org

Picture of Volkert van der Wijk
Volkert van der Wijk
Picture of Abdullah Yaşır
Abdullah Yaşır
Picture of Freek Broeren
Freek Broeren
Picture of Philipp Tempel
Philipp Tempel
Ad Huisjes
Picture of Jelle Rommers
Jelle Rommers

Previous Summer Schools

Summer Screws 2017

Summer Screws 2016

Summer Screws 2015

Summer Screws 2014

Summer Screws 2013

Summer Screws 2012

Summer Screws 2010

Summer Screws 2009

All images in the website are included with the agreement of the owners.