Biorobots: Dissected

Join us at swissnex San Francisco to learn the science and technology behind some of the world’s coolest and most advanced bio-inspired robots.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


October 29, 2015 from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)


Advance tickets $10, at the door $15.

Join us at swissnex San Francisco to learn the science and technology behind some of the world’s coolest and most advanced bio-inspired robots. Along with special guests from Stanford University, NASA, and UC Berkeley, Auke Ijspeert of the Biorobotics Laboratory from Switzerland’s EPFL shares the secrets of the Lab’s fast-running cheetah robot, a salamander bot that navigates both land and water, and modular machines designed to be the building blocks for furniture that moves and evolves. The Lab also tours its creatures throughout the Bay Area Science Festival.


6:30 pm      doors open
7:00 pm      scientific talks
8:30 pm      Q&A
8:45 pm      biorobot demos and networking reception
10:00 pm    doors close

Related events

Invasion of the Biorobots
Part of the Bay Area Science Festival
October 23, 2015 – November 7, 2015
San Francisco Bay Area


Mark R. Cutkosky

Mark R. Cutkosky serves as Professor and Associate Chair of the Stanford Mechanical Engineering Dept. His research interests include robotic manipulation and tactile sensing and the design and fabrication of small, biologically inspired robots using layered manufacturing methods. He serves as a principal investigator of the Design Interface for 3D Manufacturing and Biomimetic Robotics projects at the Center for Design Research, Director of the Dextrous Manipulation Lab, and a Co-Director of the Stanford Alliance for Innovative Manufacturing. He received his PhD and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University, and BS in Mechanical Engineering from University of Rochester.

Ronald Fearing

Ronald Fearing is a professor in the Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) at University of California, Berkeley. His current research interests are in milli-robotics, including flying and crawling milli-robots, parallel nano-grasping (gecko adhesion), micro-assembly, and rapid prototyping. He has worked in tactile sensing, teletaction, and dextrous manipulation. He has a Ph.D. from Stanford in Electrical Engineering as well as degrees in EECS from MIT. He received the Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1991 and is the co-inventor on 12 US patents.


Robert J. Full

Robert J. Full is a Chancellor’s and Goldman Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California at Berkeley. He has led a focused international effort to demonstrate the value of integrative biology and biological inspiration by the formation of interdisciplinary collaborations of biologists, engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists from academia and industry. Professor Full is founder and director of CiBER, the Center for interdisciplinary Bio-inspiration in Education and Research and is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Bioinspiration and Biomimetics. Professor Full directs the Poly-PEDAL Laboratory, which studies the Performance, Energetics and Dynamics of Animal Locomotion (PEDAL) in many-footed creatures (Poly) such as cockroaches, crabs, and lizards. His research program in comparative physiology and biomechanics has shown how examining a diversity of animals can lead to the discovery of general principles. His fundamental discoveries in animal locomotion have inspired the design of novel neural control circuits, artificial muscles, autonomous legged search-and-rescue robots and the first, synthetic self-cleaning dry adhesive inspired by his discovery on how geckos stick.

Auke Ijspeert

Auke Ijspeert is an associate professor at the EPFL (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland), and head of the Biorobotics Laboratory (BioRob). He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Physics from the EPFL, and a PhD in artificial intelligence from the University of Edinburgh.

His research interests are at the intersection of robotics, computational neuroscience, nonlinear dynamical systems, and applied machine learning. He is interested in using numerical simulations and robots to get a better understanding of animal locomotion and movement control, and in using inspiration from biology to design novel types of robots and locomotion controllers.

Vytas SunSpiral

Vytas SunSpiral is a Senior Robotics Researcher in the Intelligent Robotics Group within the Intelligent Systems Division at NASA Ames Research Center. He is currently developing smart, free-flying robots and spacecraft as well as biologically inspired approaches to robotic systems that interact safely with humans and the environment. Educated at Stanford University, he completed degrees computer science and a self-designed concentration on robotics and artificial intelligence, with independent research on autonomous robotics, map building in dynamic settings, and hypothesis generation.


More info

The Biorobotics Laboratory is part of the Institute of Bioengineering in the School of Engineering at the EPFL, in Switzerland. The researchers work on the computational aspects of movement control, sensorimotor coordination, and learning in animals and in robots. They are interested in using robots and numerical simulation to study the neural mechanisms underlying movement control and learning in animals, and in return to take inspiration from animals to design new control methods for robotics as well as novel robots capable of agile locomotion in complex environments.



Photo: Myleen Hollero

Event Photos