Two new associate PIs have joined the NCCR Robotics consortium for its year 12: Anna Valente and Robert Katzschmann.
Anna Valente is a Professor of Industrial Robotics. She got a Ph.D. in Manufacturing Technologies and Production Systems at Politecnico di Milano and a Post-doctorate in interoperability for adaptive factories from UBath, UK. Since 2006, she has been working in cooperation with big research institutions and industrial stakeholders operating in the manufacturing value chain. She is currently Head of the Laboratory for Automation, Robots and Machines with SUPSI-DTI-ISTePS where the core research deals with the design, engineering and prototyping up to TRL 7 industrial solutions integrating advanced process chains to realize high value added products. She is the author of two books, several patents and more than 100 papers on system (re)configuration, robotics and control platforms. Since 2012 she has been coordinating several European and National Projects. She is an Associate member of CIRP – The International Academy for Production Engineering. Since 2018, she has been serving the Innosuisse Agency as an expert in the field of robotics and laser machines along with the SATW Research Alliance in the Additive Manufacturing Cluster. She is currently a member of the Swiss Science Council SSC (elected in 2020) that is consultative body to the Federal Council, operating with Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research on the matter of science and educational policies and governance. In 2019, she has been awarded by the European Commission with the Woman-Led Innovation and the Grand Prix for Innovation. In 2021, she has been awarded with the Swiss DINNO Award by the President of the Swiss Confederation, Guy Parmelin.
Robert Katzschmann is an Assistant Professor of Robotics at ETH Zurich. Robert earned his Diplom-Ingenieur in 2013 from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 2018 from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) at MIT in 2018. Robert worked on robotic manipulation technologies as Applied Scientist at Amazon Robotics and as CTO at Dexai Robotics. In July 2020, Robert founded the Soft Robotics Lab at ETH Zurich to push robots’ abilities for real-life applications by being more compliant and better adapt to their environment to solve challenging robotics tasks. His group develops soft robots whose compliant properties resemble living organisms and advances modeling, control, and learning techniques tailored to the needs of soft robots. His work has appeared in leading academic journals, including Science Robotics, and has been featured in major news outlets, including the New York Times. Robert is a member of the ETH AI Center, the Max Planck ETH Center for Learning Systems (CLS), and the ETH Competence Center for Materials and Processes (MaP). Robert is an Area Chair for Robotics Science and Systems (RSS), a Guest Editor for the International Journal on Robotics Research (IJRR), and a reviewer for leading peer-reviewed journals, including Science and Nature.