The 2015 Teruko Yata Memorial Lecture in Robotics

  • Gates&Hillman Centers
  • Rashid Auditorium 4401
  • Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems
  • Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering
  • ETH Zürich
SCS Distinguished Lectures

MicroRobotics and NanoMedicine

While the futuristic vision of micro and nanorobotics is of intelligent machines that navigate throughout our bodies searching for and destroying disease, we have a long way to go to get there. Progress is being made, though, and the past decade has seen impressive advances in the fabrication, powering, and control of tiny motile devices. Much of our work focuses on creating systems for controlling micro and nanorobots as well as pursuing applications of these devices. As systems such as these enter clinical trials, and as commercial applications of this new technology are realized, radically new therapies and uses will result that have yet to be envisioned.

Brad Nelson received mechanical engineering degrees from the University of Illinois (B.S. 1984) and the University of Minnesota (M.S. 1987), and a Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University (1995). He has been the Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at ETH Zürich since 2002 and has received a number of awards for his work in robotics, nanotechnology, and biomedicine. He serves on the advisory boards of a number of academic departments and research institutes across North America, Europe, and Asia and is on the editorial boards of several academic journals.

Prof. Nelson has been the Department Head of Mechanical and Process Engineering at ETH, Chairman of the ETH Electron Microscopy Center, and is a member of the Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation. He is a member of the board of directors of three Swiss companies.

Before moving to Europe, Prof. Nelson worked as an engineer at Honeywell and Motorola and served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana, Africa. He has also been a professor at the University of Minnesota and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Faculty Host: Martial Hebert

Teruko Yata was a postdoctoral fellow in the Robotics Institute from 2000 until her untimely death in 2002. After graduating from the University of Tsukuba, working under the guidance of Prof. Yuta, she came to the United States. At Carnegie Mellon, she served as a post-doctoral fellow in the Robotics Institute for three years, under Chuck Thorpe. Teruko's accomplishments in the field of ultrasonic sensing were highly regarded and won her the Best Student Paper Award at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in 1999. It was frequently noted, and we always remember, that "the quality of her work was exceeded only by her kindness and thoughtfulness as a friend." The Teruko Memorial Lecture series is our way to pay tribute to our extraordinary colleague and friend through unique and exciting lectures.

Held in conjunction with National Robotics Engineering Week. All welcomed.

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