About robots, robot development
and those who make it happen

ETHZ Inst. of Robotics

ETHZ Inst. of Robotics
  • Switzerland
  • Institute
  • Robotics Developer


  • ETHZ Institute of Robotics

    The Institute of Robotics emerged from the Institute of Mechanics back in January of 1991. It was once a member of the Mechatronics Group of Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, where they conduct intensive research on nanotechnolgy, and on the dynamic of controlled mechanical system which is divided into two areas; robotics and magnetic bearings.

    Brief History

    The Institute of Robotics was a part of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) based in Switzerland. In January of 1991, the institute emerged from the Institute of Mechanics and was then headed by Professor Dr. Gerhard Schweitzer. During this time, the new institute joined in various interdisciplinary Mechatronics Group in Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich. Here, students performed research on the dynamics of controlled mechanical system but within the boundary of mechatronics.

    In 1990, the International Center for magnetic Bearings was established, which was a spinoff of the company specializing in industrial application of magnetic bearings founded two years earlier, the MECOS Traxler.

    In 1995, the institute focused on the research at the nanometer scale upon the resumption of Prof. Dr. Andreas Stemmer who joined the institute during this time. Six years later, the nanotechnology group became independent under the department of mechanical and process engineering.

    From Institute of Robotics to IRIS

    In October of 2002, Dr. Schweitzer was replaced by Dr. Bradley J. Nelson of the University of Minnesota, USA, and the Institute of Robotics was replaced by the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems or IRIS.

    Here, the laboratory clearly focuses on the rising field of micro and non-robotics, developing and creating tools that enables them to produce devices, and does research to allow the use of micro and nano-robotics for biomedicine.

    Until 2007, the new robotics lab was made up of a single laboratory, the MultiScale Robotics Lab, responsible for researching robotics at a smaller degree. Since then, the lab continuously grew with the addition of new independent labs like the Autonomous Systems Lab, Sensory-Motor Systems Lab, Rehabilitation Engineering Lab, Bio-Inspired Robotics Laboratory and Agile & Dexterous Robotics Lab, among others, each having their own robotic projects to show off.

    The Agile & Dexterous Robotics Lab (ADRL), for instance, concentrates mainly on achieving robust, dynamic, agile and autonomous robotic control in un-constructed settings using model based control, force and impedance manipulation, and applied machine learning, with function to mobile control, grasping, legged locomotion, prosthetics, field robotics and biologically inspired robotics.

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