The Robotics Institute

RI | Seminar | December 2

Robotics Institute Seminar, December 2
Time and Place | Seminar Abstract | Speaker Biography | Speaker Appointments

Biologically Inspired Miniature Robots


Metin Sitti
Assistant Professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Institute




View the seminar.


Time and Place

Mauldin Auditorium (NSH 1305)
3:15 pm
3:30 pm


Miniature robotics has been an emerging robotics area where these tiny robots can directly access to small spaces and scales and can be very agile, distributed, massively parallel, light weight, and inexpensive. Modeling, designing, manufacturing, and controlling these robots have been very challenging due to the scaling effects and new physics at the micro/nanoscale, miniaturization limits on power sources, and necessity of novel micro/nanoscale actuators, sensors, mechanisms, and manufacturing techniques specific to application. This presentation will report these challenges in detail and possible solutions by focusing on the biologically inspired miniature robots developed at the NanoRobotics Laboratory.

At first, miniature surface climbing robots inspired by geckos will be presented. Geckos have unique dry adhesive fibers in their feet to climb any surface with a very high maneuverability. Discovering the principles of gecko adhesion recently, synthetic polymer micro/nanofibers are analyzed and fabricated using micro/nanomolding and optical lithography techniques. Using these synthetic adhesives, tank, tri-foot wheels, and legged type climbing robot prototypes are designed, built, and tested. Next robot will be the Water Walker which is inspired by water strider insects. It can stay on water using surface tension effect and can move on water by rowing two side legs. Current modeling, design, manufacturing, and control results and issues will be presented. Finally, miniature robots are very promising for health-care applications inside or outside the human body. Biomedical swimming and wireless endoscopic capsule robots are designed and built for diagnosis and treatment of diseases in the urinary and digestive systems, respectively. All of these miniature robots with many open research challenges could revolutionize health-care, environmental monitoring, desktop manufacturing systems, space exploration, and entertainment applications in the future.

Speaker Biography

Metin Sitti received the BSc and MSc degrees in electrical and electronics engineering from Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, in 1992 and 1994, respectively, and the PhD degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, in 1999. He was a research scientist and lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California at Berkeley during 1999-2002, working in micromechanical flying insects and biomimetic gecko adhesives projects, and teaching the graduate level novel Micro/Nano-Robotics course. He is currently an assistant professor and the director of the NanoRobotics Laboratory in Department of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Institute at the Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests include micro/nanorobotics, micro/nanomanufacturing, MEMS/NEMS, and biomedical micro/nanotechnology. He received the NSF CAREER award in 2005 for his nanorobotics related research and teaching activities and the Struminger award for his micro/nanoengineering teaching activities. He is elected as the Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Soceity for 2006-2008. He also received the best paper award in the IEEE Robotics and Biomimetics Conference (2004), the best paper award in the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (1998), and the best video award (2002), the best student paper nomination (2001), the best manipulation paper nomination (2004), and the best paper nomination (2000) in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Conference. He is the chair of the IEEE Nanotechnology Council, Nanorobotics and Nanomanufacturing Technical Committee and the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, Rapid Prototyping in Robotics and Automation Technical Committee. He is an editorial board member of Journal of Micromechatronics, Journal of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, and International Journal of Control, Automation, and Systems.

Speaker Appointments

For appointments, please contact Metin Sitti.

The Robotics Institute is part of the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.