New NCCR Robotics Spin Fund

The NCCR Robotics Spin Fund committee has granted Jaime E. Duarte and Kai Schmidt the Spin Fund for ExoSuisse. This project is hosted by Riener lab at ETHZ.

PhD defense Volker Bartenbach

Congratulations to Volker Bartenbach from Riener Lab who successfully defended his PhD thesis on the design and control of robotic exoskeletons last December.The title was: Constraints Caused by Lower Extremity Exoskeletons.

TWIICE finalists in Robotics for Good

20.02.17 – The TWIICE exoskeleton (Bleuler Lab) has been selected as one of 10 finalists in the UAE Robotics for Good competition.

Teleoperation of robotic hand

Muscular activity contains information on motion intention. By decoding the muscular activity of an arm during reachig-to-grasp motions, Billard Lab were able to detect grasp type in the early stages of a reaching motion which enables fast activation of a robotic hand by teleoperation. Reference: I. Batzianoulis, S. El Khoury, E. Pirondini, M. Coscia and S. Micera …

Cybathlon 2020

The executive board of ETH Zurich has officially announced that Cybathlon will take place 2020 in Zurich! Also, discover the Cybathlon set of stamps issued by Sierra Leone & find out which Cybathlon image was selected as part of the BBC’s most striking photos of 2016.

Education committee

We are pleased to announce Francesco Mondada as chair of the NCCR Robotics Education Committee as of December 2016. We also take this opportunity to thank Aude Billard for her valuable work as previous chair of this committee.

Cybathlon 2020 announced

09.02.17 – In today’s press conference with the executive board of ETH Zurich an official announcement was made: The Cybathlon will take place once again in Zurich in 2020 – organised by ETH ZurichBehind the scenes, planning for the next Cybathlon has been taking place since the successful premiere in October last year. The success …

Past Events

Date/Time Event Description
29 Jun – 3 Jul 2020
All Day
ARCHE 2020
Wangen an der Aare, Wangen an der Aare
ARCHE (Advanced Robotic Capabilities for Hazardous Environment) was initiated in 2017 by the SCDR of the DDPS and is lead together with the Teaching Unit of Engineering/Rescue/NBC, ETH Zurich, and...
7 Jul – 13 Jul 2019
All Day
Summer School on Rehabilitation Robotics
Shangai Jiao Tong University, Shangai
The Summer School on Rehabilitation Robotics will take place at the Biomedical Engineering School, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) between 7-13 July 2019. Organisers: - SJTU: Prof. Shanbao Tong, Prof....
1 Apr – 5 Apr 2019
All Day
Hannover Messe 2019
Deutsche Messe, Hannover
NCCR Robotics will be present at the Hannover Messe 2019 with a corporate booth and 3 additional booths for its spin-offs: Dronistics FES-ABILITY Sevensense The corporate booth will also showcase...
3 Dec – 4 Dec 2018
All Day
BMI Symposium 2018 "Controlling behavior"
EPFL, Lausanne Suisse
Prof. Pavan Ramdya, Prof. Carl Petersen & Prof. Auke Ijspeert (NCCR Robotics PI) invite you to the 2018 BMI Symposium on "Controlling behavior". With this one and a half day symposium, we...
23 Nov 2018
All Day
Neuroprosthetics Annual Research Symposium Prof. Stéphanie Lacour, NCCR Robotics PI and Director of the Center for Neuroprosthetics,  announces the First Neuroprosthetics Annual Research Symposium to be held on November 23rd, 2018, at Campus Biotech,...
1 Nov 2018
All Day
Swiss Robotics Industry Day 2018
SwissTech Convention Center, Ecublens
The next Swiss Robotics Industry Day will take place on November 1st, 2018 at the Swiss Tech Convention Centre, in Lausanne. All information on the event can be found here:
29 Oct – 31 Oct 2018
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL 2018) CoRL 2018 will take place on October 29-31 2018 in Zurich. The conference focuses on the intersection of robotics and machine learning. CoRL aims at being a selective, top-tier venue...
18 Oct – 19 Oct 2018
All Day
SNSF Site Visit 2018 The 2018 SNSF Site Visit will take place in Bern, on October 18 and 19th. More information will be provided closer to the dates.
8 Oct – 9 Oct 2018
All Day
Aerial Futures: The Drone Frontier @ HUBweek
Boston District Hall, Boston
Swissnex Boston is gathering a selection of some of the most exciting drone exhibitors from Switzerland and the United States to bring to HUBweek. Expect an eclectic selection of UAVs...
31 Jul – 2 Aug 2018
All Day
EPFL Drone Days
EPFL, Lausanne Suisse
Some NCCR Robotics laboratories will present demos at the EPFL Drone Days 2018.
2 Jul – 7 Jul 2018
All Day
Wangen an der Aare, Wangen an der Aare
The event took place in the training village of the civil protection forces of the Swiss Federal Department for Defense, Civil Protection and Sport and was used as field test...
1 Jun 2018
3:15 pm – 4:45 pm
Distinguished Seminar in Robotics, Systems & Control The Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems presents: Telerobotic Touch June 1st 2018, 15h15-16h15 Place: ETHZ, Main Building (HG G3) For those at EPFL: a video streaming will take place...
21 May – 25 May 2018
All Day
ICRA 2018, Brisbane, Australia
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Center, South Brisbane
Roland Siegward, NCCR Robotics PI, will be a member of the Industry Forum Chairs Committee at ICRA 2018, in Brisbane, Australia. Margarita Chli, NCCR Robotics PI, will give a keynote...
23 Apr – 27 Apr 2018
All Day
Hannover Messe
Deutsche Messe, Hannover
NCCR Robotics has a booth within the Swiss Innovation Pavillion and will be accompanied by 2 two of our spin-offs:  MyoSwiss and Foldaway Haptics and the project "MIRobotics". For more information...
19 Apr 2018
All Day
Forward (Forum de l'Innovation pour les PME)
SwissTech Convention Center, Ecublens
NCCR Robotics will have a booth during this event, hosting two of our spin-offs Foldaway Haptics, and TWIICE.  
13 Mar – 15 Mar 2018
All Day
European Robotics Forum
Tampere Hall, Tampere
The European Robotics Forum (ERF) 2018 hosted over 900 participants this year in Tampere, Finland from 13 to 15th March. NCCR Robotics was present with a booth, hosting two of...
12 Mar – 14 Mar 2018
All Day
AAAS Science Robotics Meeting
Plaza Heisei, Tokyo
Robert Riener, NCCR Robotics co-director, will give a keynote talk about Cybathlon at the AAAS Science Robotics Meeting in Tokyo, Japan.
8 Mar – 9 Mar 2018
All Day
NCCR Robotics Annual Retreat
Hotel Ambassador, Bern
The 2018 NCCR Robotics Annual Retreat (Bern, 8-9th March) was very successful, not only in bringing the community together but in achieving its targets in preparation for the next phase...
25 Jan 2018
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Motor learning and neurorehabilitation: training with or without errors? - A talk by Professor Laura Marchal Crespo Abstract: There is increasing interest in using robotic devices to provide rehabilitation therapy following stroke. Robotic guidance is generally used in motor training to reduce performance errors while practicing. However,...
12 Sep – 15 Sep 2017
All Day
11th Conference on Field and Service Robotics
ETH Zurich, Zurich
For more details and to register please see:
1 Sep – 3 Sep 2017
All Day
EPFL Drone Days
EPFL, Lausanne Suisse
From 1 to 3 September 2017, EPFL's Ecublens campus will host the first-ever EPFL Drone Days. This event, which will include the Swiss drone racing championship, a robotics showcase and...
25 Jul 2017
6:30 pm
ROBOTIK-LABOR AN DER ETH ZÜRICH - TeleZüri Sendung Tune into TeleZüri at 18:30 to hear Robert Riener speaking about all things rehabilitation robotics and Cybathlon.
5 Jul 2017
12:00 am
RSS 2017 Workshop: Challenges in Dynamic Legged Locomotion
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
The performance of modern legged robots still pales in comparison to their biological counterparts in terms of speed, robustness, versatility, and efficiency. The technical challenges that fuel this gap touch...
21 Jun 2017
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Talk by Prof. Harmut Geyer (CMU) on neuromechanical modeling of human locomotion
ME D1 1518, ecublens Suisse
Research at CMU’s Legged Systems Group Prof. Harmut Geyer, Carnegie Mellon University Abstract: Research at CMU’s legged systems group focuses on three questions: What are the principles of legged...
15 Jun – 16 Jun 2017
All Day
Building Bodies for Brains & Brains for Bodies & 3rd Japan-EU Workshop on Neurorobotics
Geneva, Geneva
Building Bodies for Brains & Brains for Bodies & 3rd Japan-EU Workshop on Neurorobotics Registration for both events now open.
5 Jun – 10 Jun 2017
All Day
Summer School on Rehabilitation Robotics
Biomedical Engineering School, Shanghai
Organised by the Riener Lab, ETH Zurich. For more information please see:          
2 Jun 2017
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
ICRA Workshop on Event-based vision
sands expo and convention centre, Singapore 018971
Tobi Delbruck and Davide Scaramuzza are confirmed speakers. For more information please see:  
16 May – 18 May 2017
All Day
Paris, Paris
Read more
24 Apr – 28 Apr 2017
All Day
Hannover Messe
Hannover Messe, Hannover
We will present a booth at the Hannover Messe along with Swiss Robotics partners. To organise a meeting with us please contact 
5 Apr 2017
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Talk: Hearing the light: Optogenetic Sti
Campus Biotech, H8 Auditorium, Geneva
Hearing the light: Optogenetic Sti by Tobias Moser Institute for Auditory Neuroscience & InnerEarLab, University Medical Center Goettingen, GE. For more information please see the seminar website.
28 Mar 2017
2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Talks: By Professor Fumiya Iida & By Professor Robert J. Full
EPFL, Lausanne Suisse
Talks: Model-free design optimization of soft robots: Any hope? By Professor Fumiya Iida (Cambridge Univ.), (14:30 – 15:30). BioMotion Science: Leapin’ Lizards, Compressed Cockroaches and Smart Squirrels Inspire Robots By...
20 Mar 2017
6:15 pm – 7:45 pm
Talk: Roboter als Reha-Helfer im Einsatz by Robert Riener
Universität Zurich Zentrum, Hörsaal KOL-F-101, Zurich
For more information please see the official flyer.
16 Mar 2017
10:00 am – 11:00 am
Talk by Prof. Eric Tytell (Tufts University), Quantifying responses to perturbations during locomotion in fish
MED 115 18, EPFL, Lausanne
6 Mar – 9 Mar 2017
All Day
R4L @HRI2017
Aula der Wissenschaft – Hall of Science, Vienna
2 Mar 2017
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Business Ideas @EPFL Swiss Robotics going global
SwissTech Convention Center, Ecublens
2 Mar 2017
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Business Ideas @EPFL
SwissTech Convention Center, Ecublens
13 Feb 2017
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Talk by Dr Diego Pardo (ETHZ) Legged Robots: Stepping out of the continuous and differentiable zone.
EPFL, Lausanne
16 Dec 2016
3:15 pm – 4:15 pm
Talk: MIT Cheetah: new design paradigm shift toward mobile robots, ETH Distinguished Lecture in Robotics, Systems & Control - Sangbae Kim
ETH Zurich, HG G3, Zurich
9 Nov 2016
10:00 am – 11:00 am
Talk: Rehabilitation robotics - Cristina Santos, Universidade do Minho, Portugal; Dealing with uncertainty in robot grasping - Alexandre Bernardino, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal; Locomotion with the Walkman humanoid robot - Nikos Tsagarakis, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova, Italy.
MED 115 18, EPFL, Lausanne
4 Nov 2016
3:15 pm – 4:15 pm
Talk: Designing and Controlling Robots for Direct Interaction with Humans by Prof. Alin Albu-Schaeffer, German Aerospace Center, Germany.
ETH Zurich, HG G3, Zurich
2 Nov 2016
All Day
Swiss Robotics Industry Day
SwissTech Convention Center, Ecublens
Please see
23 Oct – 27 Oct 2016
All Day
International Symposium on Safety, Security and Rescue Robotics (SSRR 16)
EPFL, Lausanne Suisse
Please see
9 Oct – 12 Oct 2016
All Day
Intercontinental Hotel, BUDAPEST, 1052 Budapest
Please see:
8 Oct 2016
12:00 am
Cybathlon 2016
SWISS Arena, Kloten
Please see
6 Oct 2016
All Day
Cybathlon Symposium
SWISS Arena, Kloten
For further information, please see
30 Sep – 7 Jan 2016
All Day
The origami robot Tribot from Paik lab is currently at the exhibition in +Ultra Knowledge & Gestaltung in Berlin
23 Sep 2016
3:15 pm – 4:15 pm
Talk: Humanitarian Robotics and Automation Technologies by Dr. Raj Madhavan
ETH Zurich, HG G3, Zurich
13 Jul – 15 Jul 2016
All Day
Workshop on Dynamic Locomotion and Manipulation (DLMC2016)
ETH Zurich, Zurich
Please see the website
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Looking for publications? You might want to consider searching on the EPFL Infoscience site which provides advanced publication search capabilities.

HRI in the home: A Longitudinal Ethnographic Study with Roomba

  • Authors: Fink, Julia; Bauwens, Valérie; Mubin, Omar; Kaplan, Frédéric; Dillenbourg, Pierre

Personal service robots, such as the iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner provide a promising opportunity to study human-robot interaction (HRI) in domestic environments. Still rather little is known about long-term impacts of robotic home appliances on people’s daily routines and attitudes and how they evolve over time. We investigate these aspects through a longitudinal ethnographic study with nine households, to which we gave a Roomba cleaning robot. During six months, data is gathered through a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods.

Posted on: November 28, 2011


  • Authors: Dobrzynski, Michal; Vanderparre, Hugues; Pericet Camara, Ramon; L"Eplattenier, Géraud; Lacour, Stéphanie; Floreano, Dario

Here we describe a sensor capable of perceiving complex one-dimensional (1-D) shape of an underlying substrate in a static and dynamic manner. The sensor consists of seven, serially connected, hyper-flexible strain gauges, manufactured using stretchable-gold-conductordeposited-on-PDMS technology. The custom designed read-out scheme allows decoupling strain-sensitive resistances of the strain-gauges from the parasitic pressure- and temperature-sensitive resistances of the connectors. The developed prototype device confirms full operation within the tested deflections ranging from 0 o to 35 o, showing an average sensitivity of 36 !/o and an average resolution of 0.22 o. The read-out frequency of 100 Hz allows quick scanning of the whole sensor array.

Posted on: February 20, 2013

Improved Efficiency in Legged Running Using Lightweight Passive Compliant Feet

  • Authors: Hutter, M.; Holenstein, C.; Fenner, D.; Remy, C. D.; Hoepflinger, M. A.; Siegwart, R.

This paper investigates the mechanical benefits of employing a passive foot segment to improve energetic efficiency in legged running. The proposed lightweight design significantly reduces impact and damping losses, while simultaneously allowing for a natural-looking stance configuration. Actuator in- put and ankle spring properties were optimized in simulation and successfully tested in 2D running experiments.

Posted on: August 27, 2012

Increasing motivation in robot-aided arm rehabilitation with competitive and cooperative gameplay

  • Authors: Novak, Domen; Nagle, Aniket; Keller, Urs; Riener, Robert

Several strategies have been proposed to improve patient motivation and exercise intensity during robot-aided stroke rehabilitation. One relatively unexplored possibility is two-player gameplay, allowing subjects to compete or cooperate with each other to achieve a common goal. In order to explore the potential of such games, we designed a two-player game played using two ARMin arm rehabilitation robots.

Posted on: May 12, 2014

IniRobot : a pedagogical kit to initiate children to concepts of robotics and computer science

  • Authors: Roy, Didier; Oudeyer, Pierre-Yves; Magnenat, Stéphane; Riedo, Fanny; Gerber, Gordana; Chevalier, Morgane Solène Denise; Mondada, Francesco

We present the IniRobot pedagogical kit, conceived and deployed within French and Swiss primary schools for the initiation to robotics and computer science. It provides a microworld for learning, and takes an enquiry-based educational approach, where kids are led to construct their understanding through practicing an active investigation methodology within teams. It is based on the use of the Thymio II robotic platform. The paper presents the detailed pedagogical objectives and a first measure of results showing that children acquired several robotics-related concepts.

Posted on: April 21, 2015

Insect-Inspired Mechanical Resilience for Multicopters

  • Authors: Mintchev, Stefano; de Rivaz, Sébastien Douglas; Floreano, Dario

The ease of use and versatility of drones has contributed to their deployment in several fields, from entertainment to search and rescue. However, drones remain vulnerable to collisions due to pilot mistakes or various system failures. This paper presents a bioinspired strategy for the design of quadcopters resilient to collisions. Abstracting the biomechanical strategy of collision resilient insects’ wings, the quadcopter has a dual-stiffness frame that rigidly withstands aerodynamic loads within the flight envelope, but can soften and fold during a collision to avoid damage. The dual-stiffness frame works in synergy with specific energy absorbing materials that protect the sensitive components of the drone hosted in the central case. The proposed approach is compared to other state-of- the art collision-tolerance strategies and is validated in a 50g quadcopter that can withstand high speed collisions.

Posted on: February 18, 2017

Keep on Moving! Exploring Anthropomorphic Effects of Motion during Idle Moments

  • Authors: Asselborn, Thibault Lucien Christian; Johal, Wafa; Dillenbourg, Pierre

In this paper, we explored the effect of a robot’s subconscious gestures made during moments when idle (also called adaptor gestures) on anthropomorphic perceptions of five year old children. We developed and sorted a set of adaptor motions based on their intensity. We designed an experiment involving 20 children, in which they played a memory game with two robots. During moments of idleness, the first robot showed adaptor movements, while the second robot moved its head following basic face tracking. Results showed that the children perceived the robot displaying adaptor movements to be more human and friendly. Moreover, these traits were found to be proportional to the intensity of the adaptor movements. For the range of intensities tested, it was also found that adaptor movements were not disruptive towards the task. These findings corroborate the fact that adaptor movements improve the affective aspect of child-robot interactions (CRI) and do not interfere with the child’s performances in the task, making them suitable for CRI in educational contexts.

Posted on: September 19, 2017

Latency Correction of Event-Related Potentials Between Different Experimental Protocols

  • Authors: Iturrate, Iñaki; Chavarriaga, Ricardo; Montesano, Luis; Minguez, Javier; Millán, José del R.

Objective: A fundamental issue in EEG event-related potentials (ERPs) studies is the amount of data required to have an accurate ERP model. This also impacts the time required to train a classifier for a brain-computer interface (BCI). This issue is mainly due to the poor signal-to-noise ratio, and to the large fluctuations of the EEG caused by several sources of variability. One of these sources is directly related to the experimental protocol or application designed, and may affect to amplitude or latency variations. This usually prevents BCI classifiers to generalize among different experimental protocols. In this work, we analyze the effect of the amplitude and the latency variations among different experimental protocols based on the same type of ERP. Approach: We present a method to analyze and compensate for the latency variations in BCI applications. The algorithm has been tested on two widely used ERPs (P300 and observation error potentials), in three experimental protocols in each case. We report the ERP analysis and single-trial classification. Results and significance: The results obtained show (i) how the experimental protocols significantly affect the latency of the recorded potentials but not the amplitudes, and (ii) how the use of latency-corrected data can be used to generalize the BCIs, reducing this way the calibration time when facing a new experimental protocol.

Posted on: February 23, 2014
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