The National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) Robotics was a Swiss nationwide organization funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation pulling together top researchers from all over the country with the objective of developing new, human oriented robotic technology for improving our quality of life. The Centre was opened on December 1st, 2010, and binded together experts from world-class research institutions for 12 years, coming to an end on November 30th, 2022:
- EPFL – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (leading house)
- ETH Zurich – Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (co-leading house)
- UZH – Universität Zürich
- IDSIA – Istituto Dalle Molle di Studi sull’Intelligenza Artificiale
- UNIBE – University of Bern
- Empa – Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
- UNIBAS – Universität Basel
- SUPSI – Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana
NCCR Robotics was at the forefront of robotics research and developed robots that co-exist symbiotically with humans in order to enable them to help both individuals and society.
NCCR Robotics promoted three main strands of research:
Wearable robots: working with neurologists and physicians to truly understand the human body and nervous system so that robots are attuned to the needs of the wearer. This included enabling prosthetic limbs to process impulses from the brain and developing soft technologies to make wearable and rehabilitation robots more practical and natural.
Rescue robots: developing new types of flying, walking, and swimming robots that are portable and safe for humans, and could be used for disaster areas or in normal life for exploration and transportation. Our robots are unique because they have been engineered to perform multiple types of locomotion, such as walking and either flying, grasping or swimming.
Education robots: designing new modular and reconfigurable robots fitted with sensors and actuators to provide an effective and affordable tool for teaching in schools and universities. Aside from our research aims, we were also active in the fields of education and training (kids, undergraduates and postgraduates), knowledge and technology transfer (industrial liaison), advancement of women and communication.