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Biologically Inspired Robotics Laboratory

Department of Engineering


Open Projects

The Bio-Inspired Robotics Lab (BIRL) offers both semester and thesis projects for master students. The research topics and contents are essentially open to the students as long as they are challenging and within the scope of BIRL research.

More details

Upcoming Events

Media Coverage

12 August 2015 Fumiya Iida talks at BBC Victoria Derbyshire

12 August 2015 BBC NEWS: Robots learn to evolve and improve

12 August 2015 University of Cambridge: The origin of (robot) species

Follow ups by: NBC News, The Telegraph, Mail Online, The Times, Motherboard, Ifl Science, Mashable, IO9, E&T, HNGN, Business Weekly, Bioscience Technology, Gizmodo, RT,, Gizmag,, Cambridge News

21 July 2015 IEEE Spectrum: Mother Robots Build Children Robots to Experiment With Artificial Evolution

A full list

News History

01.03.2015 We have moved to the University of Cambridge. Click here for the new web page.

04.02.2015 Two papers by Kim, Y. et al. and Günther, F. et al. have been accepted for IEEE ICRA 2015

10.09.2014 A paper by Wang, Brodbeck and Iida on tool manufacture and use has been published by Journal of the Royal Society Interface

24.07.2014 A paper by Nurzaman et al. has been accepted for publication by Bioinspiration & Biomimetics

16.07.2014 A paper by Culha et al. has been accepted for publication by Sensors

13.05.2014 A paper by Nurzaman et al. has been published in Entropy

22.04.2014 A paper by Marques et al. has been accepted for publication by PLoS Computational Biology

22.04.2014 A paper by Pfeifer et al. has been accepted for publication by Trends in Cognitive Science

20.03.2014 Noonee, one of Swiss national start-up teams ready for a trip to the US

17.01.2014 A paper by Wang et al. has been published in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics (also see coverage by New Scientist, Discovery Channel,, Electronic Products, Ny Teknik, Futura Sciences, Biofutur)

14.01.2014 Three papers by Wang et al., Brodbeck, Guenther et al. have been accepted for IEEE ICRA 2014

07.01.2014 The proposal for IEEE ICRA 2014 workshop for soft and stiffness controllable robots for minimally invasive surgery is accepted

26.12.2013 A paper by Nurzaman et al. has been published in PLOS ONE(also see coverage by ETH News, Tages Anzeiger)

07.11.2013 Successfully organized IEEE/RSJ IROS 2013 Workshop on Soft Technologies for Wearable Robots, 07/11/2013, Tokyo, Japan

23.10.2013 Keith Gunura and Bryan Anastasiades were accepted for Venture Kick Stage 2
11.10.2013 Dr. Kohei Nakajima received a Hakubi award from Kyoto University in Japan

25.-29.09.2013 Birl supported art exhibition Natural Intrinsic by Mara Elsa in Zurich

14.-19.07.2013 Successfully organized 2013 International Workshop on Soft Robotics (SoftRobot2013), Monte Verita, Ascona, Switzerland

26.06.2013 Spin-off Noonee's website is ready

17.06.2013 Paper co-authored with Blumberg from University of Iowa has been published in Current Biology (also see coverage by National Geographic)

04.06.2013 The Venture Kick application was accepted

24.04.2013 Papers by Reis et al., Wang et al., and Leach et al. have been accepted by IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechtronics, IEEE Transactions on Robotics and IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechtronics respectively

26.08.2012 Fumiya's invited talk at EU Cog III

12.08.2012 Paper by Reis & Iida has been accepted by Artificial Life

14.07.2012 Fumiya Island in Robot Film Festival

01.07.2012 Dr. Hansruedi Frueh is coming to visit our lab

18.-22.06.2012 Successfully organized 2012 ETH Robotics Summer School on Soft Robotics, Zurich, Switzerland

19.05.2012 Paper by Wang & Iida has been accepted by IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics

02.04.2012 Welcome new member: Utku Culha

02.04.2012 Welcome new member: Surya Nurzaman

09.03.2012 Bironz meeting by Dr. Scaramuzza, and Dr. Jafari 12.15pm, HG D3.2

17.01.2012 Fumiya's invited talk at Harvard Bio-Inspired Engineering Symposium

01.01.2012 Welcome new member: Amir Jafari

16.12.2011 Robotics Seminar by Prof. Metta, and Prof. Schaal 15.15pm, ML E12

09.12.2011 Bironz meeting by Dr. Brandeli, and Prof. Sorkine 12.15pm, HG G5

11.11.2011 Bironz meeting by Dr. Roggen and Dr. Paradalier, 12.15pm, HG G5

07.11.2011 Seminar on Musculoskeletal humanoids by Prof. Nakanishi and Dr. Osada, 2.15pm, HG F26.1

14.10.2011 Bironz semester starts

19.09.2011 Fumiya's new lecture series "bio-inspired motor control"

16.09.2011 Prof. Fumiya Iida appointed as a program committee member of the International Program Committee (IPC) for the 10th IFAC Symposium on Robot Control (SYROCO 2012) in Dubrovnik, Croatia. SYROCO 2012.

12.09.2011 New member: Xiaoxiang Yu

12.09.2011 Fumiya's invited talk at the ICMC2011.

30.07.2011 Fumiya's invited talk at the ICINCO2011.

15.07.2011 Robotics summer school - Case study session at ETH Zurich.

22.06.2011 Marc's paper accepted for IROS2011.

16.06.2011 NCCR Robotics Symposium at ETH Zurich.

01.06.2011 Welcome new member: Luzius Brodbeck.

05.05.2011 Soft Robotics session at the fet11 conference.

22.04.2011 Murat's paper accepted for AIM2011.

13.04.2011 BIRL supports robotics researchers in Japan.

23.03.2011 Fumiya's invited talk at the Robolift11 conference.

14.03.2011 PC Member of the International Workshop on Intelligent Robotics.

09.03.2011 [Special Issue] on Bio-Inspired Robotics in Journal of Robotics and Mechatronics.

04.03.2011 BiRoNZ-Meeting, 12.00-13.00, HG D 7.2.

13.02.2011 Special Issue on Soft Robotics in Advanced Robotics Journal. read more.

01.02.2011 Welcome new members: Hugo Marques (Postdoc), Derek Leach (PhD).

24.01.2011 New paper published in International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR).

20.01.2011 Invited for program committee member of European Conference of Artificial Life (ECAL2011).

10.12.2010 Invited for program committee member of Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO2011).

01.12.2010 NCCR Robotics launched successfully!

01.12.2010 ETHIIRA Grant Proposal on "Autonomous Robotic Growth with Thermoplastic Adhesive" was approved!

05.11.2010 BiRoNZ-Meeting, 12.00-13.00, HG D 1.2.

08.10.2010 BiRoNZ-Meeting, 12.00-13.00, HG E 5

21.09.2010 Lecture of Prof. Fumiya Iida, Bio-Inspired Motor Control, 9.00-12.00, HG E 22.

20.09.2010 New member: Kevin Frey, master student, semester project, leaving 20.12.2010.

07.09.2010 Talk of Dr. Takuya Hashimoto, visiting scientist, academic guest from Tokyo University of Science, Japan: Robot Technology for Supporting Human Activity, 12.15 - 13.00, LFO G 25.

01.09.2010 New members: Dr. Takuya Hashimoto, visiting scientist, academic guest from Tokyo University of Science, Japan, dept. of mech. eng., leaving 15.09.2010.

Marc Osswald, master student, master project,finishing 28 February 2011, and Juanjo Fernandez Bocanegra, Erasmus student, master project, finishing 28 February 2011.

24.08.2010 New member: Dr. Murat Reis, academic guest from University of Uludag, Engineering Faculty, Görükle-Bursa/ Turkey, research and teaching assistant in mech. eng., leaving 23.08.2011.

01.07.2010 New member: Burcu Karadeniz, guest student from University of Sabanci, Istanbul, Turkey, undergraduate student, finishing 31.08.2010

28.05.2010 Third BiRoNZ Meeting.

11.05.2010 New member: Fabian Müller, master student, semester project, finishing in October 2010.

10.05.2010 New members: Akshay Jain, guest student from India, finished in July 2010.

23.04.2010 Introduction Lecture of Prof. Dr. Fumiya Iida:
"Bio-Inspired Motor Control for Autonomous Robots"
23.04.2010, 17.15, HG F 30, for more details: ETHZ Veranstaltungskalender

16.04.2010 Second BiRoNZ Meeting.

15.04.2010 NCCR Robotics has been approved by the Swiss Government.

25.03.2010 Seminar Jonas Buchli:Robust Control Strategies for Locomotion and Manipulation through Compliance and Force Control. Speaker: Jonas Buchli. HG G 26.1, 3 pm.

05.03.2010 First BiRoNZ Meeting.

01.03.2010 New member: Fabian Günther, master student, semester project, finished in July 2010.

23.02.2010 New member: Cristian Montillo, master student, master degree project, finishing 30.08.2010.

27./28.01.2010 Poster Presentation on Cogsys 2010.

14.01.2010 SNF-JSPS Seminar proposal accepted.

04.01.2010 New members: Christina Lütolf-Aecherli, Pascal Wespe.

22.12.2009 Iida,Tedrake (2010) published in Autonomous Robots.

03.08.2009 BIRL Opening:
The Bio-Inspired Robotics Laboratory was started at the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich.