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Welcome to the Harvard Microrobotics Lab
RoboBees

Our research focuses on mechanics, materials, design, and manufacturing for novel robots. This includes robotics at unique size scales - microrobotics - and robots that depart from conventional rigid morphologies - soft robotics. Examples include robotic insects (e.g. the "RoboBee"), squishy soft-bodied robots, and wearable robots. Basic research questions for both of these themes include multi-scale and multi-material manufacturing, new sensors and actuators (either small and lightweight or consisting of entirely soft materials), controls for highly compliant and/or highly dynamic robots, and mechanical intelligence (i.e. the ability to alleviate controller complexity by embedding feedback mechanisms in mechanical systems).

The lab was founded within the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences by Prof. Robert Wood. It houses all the necessary tools to design, create, and evaluate novel robots. The lab employs a highly experimental approach to developing robots and we use these robots as tools to explore fundamental questions in micromechanics, actuation, fluid mechanics, controls, and microelectronics. The Harvard Microrobotics Lab is closely involved with the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Prof. Wood is a founding core faculty member of the Institute and co-lead of the Bioinspired Robotics platform.

Lab news:

  • Congratulations to Nick Bartlett, Neel Doshi, Ben Goldberg, and Michelle Rosen for winning 2014 NDSEG fellowships! (4/2014)
  • Congratulations to Ben Goldberg and Michelle Rosen for winning 2014 NSF graduate fellowships! (4/2014)
  • RoboBees is the cover story of the January 2014 eddition of Popular Science (12/2013)
  • "Model-Free Control of a Flapping-Wing Flying Microrobot" wins the Best Paper award at the 2013 Int. Conf. on Advanced Robotics (11/2013)
  • "Design and Fabrication of Soft Artificial Skin Using Embedded Microchannels and Liquid Conductors" is named best IEEE Sensors Journal paper of 2012 at the 2013 IEEE Sensors Conf. (11/2013)
  • Pratheev Sreetharan, Peter Whitney, and Prof. Wood are "Featured Honorees" of the 2013 Museum of Science, Boston Invented Here! symposium for the patent (pending) "Monolithic Fabrication of Three-Dimensional Structures" (9/2013)
  • "Self-folding with shape memory composites" is the cover of Soft Matter (7/2013)
  • Congratulations to Yong-Lae Park who will join the faculty in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University as an Assistant Professor (5/2013)
  • Prof. Wood will give a plenary talk at ICRA 2013 (5/2013)
  • "Controlled Flight of a Biologically Inspired, Insect-Scale Robot" appears in the journal Science. See the SEAS press release (5/2013)
  • Congratulations to Nestor Perez-Arancibia who will join the faculty at USC as an Assistant Professor in the department of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering (5/2013)
  • Congratulations to Farrell Helbling for winning a 2013 NSF graduate fellowship! (4/2013)
  • Congratulations to Sam Felton for winning a 2013 NDSEG fellowship! (4/2013)
  • "Flight of the RoboBees" appears in Scientific American (3/2013)
  • Microrobotics Lab alumni Pratheev Sreetharan is named one of Technology Review's TR35! (8/2012)
  • Prof. Wood is appointed the Charles River Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences (7/2012)
  • "Design and Fabrication of Soft Artificial Skin Using Embedded Microchannels and Liquid Conductors" is the cover article for the August 2012 issue of IEEE Sensors Journal (7/2012)
  • Katie Hoffman wins Best Student Paper at BioRob 2012! (6/2012)
  • Congratulations to Rebecca Kramer who will join the faculty at Purdue University as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering starting Spring 2013 (6/2012)
  • "Monolithic fabrication of millimeter-scale machines" is the cover article for the May 2012 issue of J. Micromechanics and Microengineering (5/2012)
  • New NSF Expeditions in Computing awards announced. The Harvard Microrobotics Lab will work with the MIT-led team on "Printable Programmable Machines" (4/2010)
  • Congratulations to Mirko Kovac who will join the faculty in the Department of Aeronautics at Imperial College London (4/2010)
  • Microrobotics Lab alum Carmel Majidi was named a winner of the 2012 ONR Young Investigator Award! (4/2012)
  • Prof. Wood will receive the 2012 NSF Alan T. Waterman award! For details, see the SEAS press release (3/2012)
  • Mirko Kovac wins the Best Conference Paper award at the 2011 IEEE Robotics and Biomimetics conference based on his graduate work at EPFL. Nestor Perez-Arancibia and Pakpong Chirarattananon were finalists for Best Paper in Biomimetics (12/2011)
  • "Pop-up book MEMS" is the cover article for the Nov. 2011 issue of J. Micromechanics and Microengineering (11/2011)
  • Congratulations to Hiroto Tanaka who will join Chiba University as a Research Assistant Professor (9/2011)
  • Prof. Wood will give a "Semi-Plenary" talk at IROS 2011 (8/2011)
  • Congratulations to Jamie Paik who will join the faculty at EPFL as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering starting Spring 2012 (7/2011)
  • Congratulations to Carmel Majidi who will join the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering starting Fall 2011 (4/2011)
  • Congratulations to Frank Hammond for winning a 2011 Ford Fellowship! (4/2011)
  • Congratulations to Kevin Ma for winning a 2011 NSF graduate fellowship! (4/2011)
  • Katie Hoffman wins honorable mention by the Science and the National Science Foundation 2010 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge (2/2011)
  • The official Microrobotics Lab YouTube channel has been launched (12/2010)
  • Prof. Wood is highlighted as Business Week's innovator in the August 2nd issue. See media page for more details (8/2010)
  • 'Aeromechanics of passive rotation in flapping flight' appears in J. Fluid Mechanics (7/2010)
  • 'Programmable matter by folding' appears in PNAS (7/2010)
  • Pratheev Sreetharan wins Best Student Paper at RSS 2010! (6/2010)
  • The Harvard Microrobotics Lab will be participating in the inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. on October 23rd-24th, 2010. See our outreach page for details
  • Congratulations to Pratheev Sreetharan and Pierre-Emile Duhamel for winning 2010 NSF graduate fellowships! (4/2010)
  • Congratulations to Andy Baisch and Pratheev Sreetharan for winning 2010 NDSEG fellowships! (4/2010)

Lab contact information

4th floor, 60 Oxford St
(617) 384-7892

Our lab is located in the northeast corner of Harvard's Cambridge campus. See below for a map:

LabMap

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