IRIM Robotics Seminar—Metin Sitti

The Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines presents “Soft Miniature Mobile Robots” by Metin Sitti of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. The event will be held in the Marcus Nanotechnology Building, Rooms 1116-1118, from 12:15-1:15 p.m. and is open to the public. 

Please Note: This event has been rescheduled for Wednesday.


Soft functional materials could enable physical intelligence for small-scale (from a few millimeters down to a few micrometers overall size) mobile robots by enabling them with unique capabilities such as shape changing and programming, adaptation, and multi-functional and diverse behavior. This talk will explore our recent activities on how to design, manufacture, and control new untethered soft actuators, sensors, robots, and shape-programmable materials at the milli/microscale. First, inflated soft actuators with reversible stable deformations are proposed combining hyperelastic membranes and dielectric elastomer actuators to switch between stable deformations of sealed chambers. Next, new parallel microcracks-based ultrasensitive and highly stretchable soft strain sensors are integrated with gecko-inspired microfiber adhesives for wearable medical devices adhered on the skin. Next, new, untethered milli/microscale swimming robots inspired by spermatozoids and jellyfish are proposed using elastomeric magnetic composite materials. Static and dynamic shapes of such magnetic active soft materials are programmed using a computational design methodology. These soft robots are demonstrated to be able to have seven or more locomotion modalities (undulatory swimming, jellyfish-like swimming, water meniscus climbing, jumping, ground walking, rolling, crawling inside constrained environments, etc.) in a single robot for the first time to be able to move on complex environments, such as inside the human body. Ultrasound-guided navigation of such robots is possible towards medical functions such as local cargo/drug delivery.


Metin Sitti received BSc and MSc degrees in electrical and electronics engineering from Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, in 1992 and 1994, respectively. After receiving a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1999, Sitti served as a research scientist at UC Berkeley until 2002, when he became a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, a position he held until 2016.

Currently, Sitti is the director of the Physical Intelligence Department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany. His research interests include physical intelligence, mobile milli/microrobots, bio-inspired micro/nanomaterials, soft robots, and medical robots. He is an IEEE Fellow and received the SPIE Nanoengineering Pioneer Award in 2011 and an NSF CAREER Award in 2005. Additionally, Sitti has earned many best paper and video awards at major conferences and serves as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Micro-Bio Robotics.

Event Details


  • Wednesday, February 28, 2018
    12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Location: Marcus Nanotechnology Building, Rooms 1116-1118

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