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RBE Colloquium Series: Dr. Markus Nemitz | Robotic Materials: Merging the Worlds of Hard and Soft Robotics


Various images of robots at Robotics Engineering WPI alt
WPI Robotics Engineering
Friday, September 11, 2020
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm


Dr. Markus Nemitz

Robotics Engineering, WPI

Robotic Materials: Merging the Worlds of Hard and Soft Robotics


Friday, September 11, 2020
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Zoom link: (sign-in required)


Abstract: Due to their material properties, soft systems possess enormous potential for disruptive innovations spanning applications in healthcare, military, space, and beyond. However, soft robots still face major shortcomings. Complex infrastructures present hurdles to highly integrated versions of soft systems. External control hardware and camera systems limit the performance of soft robots and their practical use. The grand challenges of soft robotics are both materials and robotics ones. Overcoming them will require interdisciplinary solutions. My work takes a bioinspired approach to address the challenges facing this exciting new field. I will discuss new combinations of advanced materials, electronics, and fluidics that I have developed for enabling integrated actuation, control, and sensing capabilities in soft matter machines. I will close with thoughts for continued work at the materials-robotics interface, inter- and intradepartmental collaborations, and projects available to students.

Bio: Markus obtained his B.Eng. in electrical engineering from Bochum University in Germany and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in electronics and electrical engineering from the University of Edinburgh. At the University of Edinburgh, he worked under the guidance of Prof. Adam Stokes. During his doctoral studies, Markus was a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, working with Prof. Edwin Olson. Following his graduate research, he trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard, advised by Prof. George Whitesides, before starting as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Robotics Engineering at WPI in July 2020. Markus is an active member and organizer of international conferences and workshops in the robotics community. He has been an invited speaker at government agencies, international institutes, and conferences throughout his academic career.

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