Academic Staff Profiles

Dr. Damith Chathuranga

Senior Lecturer,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Moratuwa,
Moratuwa, 10400,
Sri Lanka.

Teaching and Administrative Work: 


Undergraduate Modules: 

ME1802 - Introduction to Manufacturing Engineering

ME2060 - Mechanics of Materials 2

ME2280 - Sensors Actuators and Smart Systems

ME3812 - Machine Design

ME4502 - Robotics Technology

ME4672 - Control Systems Design

Postgraduate Modules:

EE 5201 - Sensors and Actuators for Automation

ME 5022 - Instrumentation and Experimental Techniques

Visitin Lectures:

ME2209 - Fundamentals of Mechatronics (University of Sri Jayawardanapura)

Research Group:

Computational Sensing and Smart Systems Group

Research Activities : 


Ongoing postgraduate research projects:

1. Design and Development of a Tactile Feedback System for Prosthetics and Tele-operated Robots - MPhil

2. Tactile Sensor Array Based Visual Servoing for Object Manipulation by Articulated Robots - MSc

3. Development of a Soft Linear Actuator for Use in Wearable Assistive Exosuits - PhD

4. Development of a low profile soft actuator with embeded sensors for robotic applications - MSc


Completed undergraduate research projects:

1. Development of a Leap Motion Controlled Dual Arm Robot System to Assist in Laboratory Environments

2. Design and Implement a Haptic Feedback System for Tele-operated Surgery.

3. Development of Liquid Fertilizer Spraying Drone System for Farms.

4. Development of a soft robot gripper for soft object manipulation

5. Automated green house for urban households

Education and Training : 

(1). B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.

(2). Master of Engineering in Advanced Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University, Japan. 

(3). Doctor of EngineeringRitsumeikan University, Japan.

Career : 


Career History:

(1). 2014 October - 2014 December: Visiting Researcher - King’s College London, UK

(2). 2013 October - 2014 April: Researcher - Mitsubishi Electric Advanced Technology Development Center, Amagasaki, Japan

(3). 2011 March - 2011 September: Mechanical Engineer - Aero Sense Pvt. Ltd.

(4). 2010 June - 2011 March: MEMS/NEMS Sensor Design Engineer - Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA)

(5). 2009 August - 2010 June: Temporary Instructor - Department of Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa


Professional Affiliations:

(1), Member, IEEE

(2). Associate Member, IESL

Honours and Awards : 


1. IEEE RAS BP travel grant 2017

2. Rs. 1.5M long term grant from SRC, University of Moratuwa for the research 'Design and Development of a Tactile Feedback System for Prosthetics and Tele-operated Robots' (PI) - 2017

3. Rs. 0.4M short term grant from SRC, University of Moratuwa for the research 'Tactile Sensor Array Based Visual Servoing for Object Manipulation by Articulated Robots' (PI) - 2017

4. Rs. 3.76M grant from NRC for the research project 'Design and Development of a Soft Orthotic Device for Lower Limb and Spinal Assistance' (PI) - 2017

5. Rs. 6.8M grant from Ministry of Science, Technology & Research 'Design and Development of Detection and Extinguishing Systems for Forest Fire using Sensor Networks, Aerial and Ground Robots' (PI) - 2017

6. Rs. 4.98M grant from NRC for the research project 'Development of a Soft Robot Gripper with Inbuilt Sensors for Deformable Object Grasping and Tactile Feedback' (CI) - 2018



(1). Japanese Government Monbukagakusho (MEXT) Scholarship, 2011. - Japanese Government

(2). Monbukagakusho (JASSO) Honors Scholarship, 2014. - Japanese Government

(3). ASTER Scholarship, 2013.- Ritsumeikan University

(4). KOKUSAITEKI Research Fund (for Promoting International Research Activities in the Doctoral Degree Program), 2014. - Ritsumeikan University

(5). Finalist of best paper award RCAR 2015.- International Conference on Real-time Computing

(6). 1st Prize 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition of Ritsumeikan University, 2015.- Ritsumeikan University

(7). 1st Prize, International Arth Robot Competition, 2009.- Institute of Information Technology, Mumbai, India


Contribution to International Bodies:

(1) Treasurer, IEEE Sri Lanka Section (2018/02- to date)

(2) Assistant Secretary, IEEE Sri Lanka Section (2017/02- 2018/02)

(3) Committee member, IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Sri Lanka Section Chapter (2017/02- to date)

Publications : 


Peer reviewed journals:

(1). Damith Suresh Chathuranga Zhongkui Wang, Yohan Noh, Thrishantha Nanayakkara, and Shinichi HiraiMagnetic and Mechanical Modelling of  Soft Three-Axis Force Sensor", IEEE Sensors Journal, 2016.

(2). Yohan Noh, Hongbin Liu, Sina Sareh, Damith Suresh Chathuranga, Helge Wurdemann, Kawal Rhode, Kaspar AlthoeferImage-based Optical Miniaturized Three-Axis Force Sensor for Cardiac Catheterization", IEEE Sensors Journal, 2016.

(3). Noh, Y.; Bimbo, J.; Sareh, S.; Wurdemann, H.; Fraś, J.; Chathuranga, D.S.; Liu, H.; Housden, J.; Althoefer, K.; Rhode, K., "Multi-Axis Force/Torque Sensor Based on Simply-Supported Beam and Optoelectronics.", Sensors, 2016.


Peer reviewed conference publications:

(1). Damith Suresh Chathuranga, Van Anh Ho, Shinichi Hirai, “A Bio-mimetic Fingertip That Detects Force and Vibration Modalities and its Application to Surface Identification”, IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics, Guangzhou, China, 12/2012.

(2). Damith Suresh Chathuranga, Van Anh Ho, Shinichi Hirai, “Investigation of the Bio-mimetic Fingertip's Ability to Discriminate Fabrics Based on Surface Textures”, IEEE/ASME International conference on Advance Intelligent MechatronicsWollongong, Australia., 7/2013.

(3). Damith Suresh ChathurangaZhongkui Wang, Van Anh Ho, Mitani A, Shinichi Hirai, “Biomimetic Soft Fingertip Applicable to Haptic Feedback Systems for Texture identification” ,International Symposium on Haptic Audio-Visual Environments and Games, Istanbul, Turkey,10/2013.

(4). Damith Suresh ChathurangaZhongkui Wang, Shinichi Hirai, “Challenges in Developing Soft Tactile Sensors for Robots That Detect Incipient Slip” ,7th International Conference on Information and Automation for Sustainability, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 12/2014.

(5). Damith Suresh ChathurangaZhongkui Wang, Shinichi Hirai, “An Anthropomorphic Tactile Sensor System with its Applications in Dexterous Manipulations” ,IEEE International Conference on CYBER technology in Automation, Control and Intelligent Systems, Shenyang, China , 6/2015.

(6). Zhongkui Wang, Damith Suresh ChathurangaShinichi Hirai, “Study on Fingertip Slippage using FE Model for Developing Human-Like Tactile Sensor”, International Conference on Real-time Computing And Robotics, Changsha, China, 6/2015.

(7). Zhongkui Wang, Damith Suresh ChathurangaShinichi Hirai, “Study on the Human Perception of Incipient and Overall Slippages Using A 2D FE Fingertip Model”, The 37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) ,Italy, Milano, 8/2015.

(8). Helge Arne WurdemannSina Sareh, Ali ShaftiYohan Noh, Angela FaragassoDamith Suresh ChathurangaHongbin Liu, Shinichi Hirai ,Embedded Electro-Conductive Yarn for Shape Sensing of Soft Robotic Manipulators”, The 37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), Italy, Milano, 8/2015.

(9). Damith Suresh ChathurangaZhongkui Wang, Yohan NohThrishantha NanayakkaraShinichi HiraiDisposable Soft 3 Axis Force Sensor for Biomedical Applications”, The 37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), Italy, Milano, 8/2015.

(10). Damith Suresh ChathurangaZhongkui Wang, Yohan NohThrishantha NanayakkaraShinichi Hirai, “Robust Real time Material Classification Algorithm Using Soft Three Axis Tactile Sensor: Evaluation of the Algorithm", IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), September 2015.

(11). Damith Suresh ChathurangaZhongkui Wang, Yohan NohThrishantha NanayakkaraShinichi Hirai, “A Soft Three Axis Force Sensors that is Useful for Robot Grippers", IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), September 2016.

(12). Zhongkui Wang, Damith Suresh ChathurangaShinichi Hirai, "3D Printed Soft Gripper for Automatic Lunch Box Packing", IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Biomimetics (ROBIO), 2016.

(13). S H Atapattu, N M Senevirathna, H L U Shan, T B T Madusanka, T D LalitharathnaD S Chathuranga, "Design and Development of a Wearable Haptic Feedback Device to Recognize Textured Surfaces: Preliminary Study", IEEE International Conference on Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics (AIM), 2017.

(14) Chamara Wijaya Bandara Herath , Oscar De Silva, Damith Suresh Chathuranga, Thilina Dulantha Lalitharatne, "Design and Development of an Automated Battery Swapping and Charging Station for Multirotor Aerial Vehicles", 17th International Conference on Control, Automation and Systems, 2017.

(15) Chanaka Prasad Premarathna, Damith Suresh Chathuranga,  Thilina  Thilina Dulantha, "Fabrication of a Soft Tactile Display Based on Pneumatic Balloon Actuators and Voice Coils : Evaluation of Force and Vibration Sensations", 2017 IEEE/SICE International Symposium on System Integration (SII 2017), Taipei, Taiwan. 

(16) L Weerasinghe, Damith Suresh Chathuranga, "Development and Characterization of a Soft Tactile Sensor Array Used for Parallel Grippers", 2018 Moratuwa Engineering Research Conference (MERCon), Sri Lanla, 2018.

Symposiums and other publications:

(1). Damith Suresh Chathuranga, Chirantha Jayasinghe, “Design and simulation of MEMS sensor with inbult GSM communication for smart buildings”, International Conference of Sustainable Built Environment, Kandy, Sri Lanka, 12/2010.

(2). Damith Suresh ChathurangaShinichi Hirai, “A Bio-Mimetic Fingertip that can Detect Force and Vibration Modalities: Investigation of Bio-mimetic Fingertip’s Ability to Discriminate Textures”, The Robotics and Mechatronics Conference 2013 (ROBOMECH), Tsukuba, Japan, 5/2013.

(3). Damith Suresh ChathurangaAhn Van Ho, Shinichi Hirai, “Surface Texture Discrimination Using MEMS Accelerometer Embedded Biomimetic Fingertip”, International workshop on soft and flexible micro/nano systems technology, Gold coast, Australia, 7/2013.

(4). Damith Suresh Chathuranga, Shinichi Hirai, “Soft 3D Tactile Sensor for Artificial Fingertips”, The Robotics and Mechatronics Conference 2015 (ROBOMECH), Kyoto, Japan, 5/2015.


Newspaper articles:

Media coverage:


Research Opportunities: 

Number of postgraduate opportunities are available for highly motivated and enthusiastic individuals in the field of soft robotics at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Moratuwa.

Candidates who have a four year degree with first class or second class upper division in Mechanical/ Biomedical/ Mechatronics/ Electronics/ Electrical Engineering or any other relevant engineering field in a recognized university are encouraged to apply.

Dr. Damith Chathuranga (Email:


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