Prof. Dr. Metin Sitti is the director of the Physical Intelligence Department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany since 2014. As his current ancillary academic positions, he is a professor at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, professor in Koç University, Turkey, and honorary professor in University of Stuttgart, Germany. He was a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA (2002-2014) and a research scientist at University of California at Berkeley, USA (1999-2002). He received the BSc (1992) and MSc (1994) degrees in electrical and electronics engineering and physics from Boğaziçi University, Turkey, and the PhD degree (1999) in electrical engineering from the University of Tokyo, Japan.
He has pioneered many research areas, including wireless miniature medical soft robots, gecko-inspired microfiber adhesives, bio-inspired miniature robots, and physical intelligence. He is an IEEE Fellow. As selected awards, he received the ERC Advanced Grant (2019), Rahmi Koç Medal of Science (2018), Best Paper Award in the Robotics Science and Systems Conference (2019), IEEE/ASME Best Mechatronics Paper Award (2014), SPIE Nanoengineering Pioneer Award (2011), Best Paper Award in the IEEE/RSJ Intelligent Robots and Systems Conference (1998, 2009), and NSF CAREER Award (2005). He is the editor-in-chief of both Progress in Biomedical Engineering and Journal of Micro-Bio Robotics journals, and an associate editor for both Science Advances and Extreme Mechanics Letters journals.
Prof. Sitti has published two books and over 460 peer-reviewed papers, over 300 of which have appeared in archival journals. His group’s research breakthroughs have been featured in the popular press, such as New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, Economist, Der Spiegel, Forbes, Science, New Scientist, Science News, Nature News, MIT Technology Review, and IEEE Spectrum Magazine. He has given over 200 invited keynote, plenary or distinguished seminars in universities, conferences and industry. He has over 12 issued patents and over 15 pending patents. He founded a start-up (nanoGriptech Inc.) in Pittsburgh, USA in 2012 to commercialize his lab’s gecko-inspired microfiber adhesive technology as a new disruptive adhesive material (branded as Setex®) for a wide range of industrial applications.
He has supervised and mentored 55 (17 current) PhD students and 62 (20 current) postdoctoral researchers since 2002. Over 40 of his lab alumni became a faculty or group leader at Cornell, UMich, UIUC, Tufts, Oregon State, Virginia Tech, WPI, ASU, LSU, Richard Morris, Texas Tech (USA); Toronto, Waterloo, McMaster (Canada); ETH Zurich (Switzerland); MPI for Intelligent Systems, KIT (Germany); NTU (Singapore); Tampere (Finland); Bilkent, Hacettepe, Bogazici (Turkey); Sheffield, Heriot-Watt (UK); Delft, Wageningen (Netherlands); KIST, Hanyang (S. Korea); UMich-Shanghai Jiaotong Joint Institute (China); Banaras Hindu (India); etc. Moreover, over 25 of his lab alumni are working in industry as senior researchers at Intuitive Surgical, Apple, Intel, Google, Novartis, BostonDynamics, Schlumberger, 3M, Proprio Vision, Arete Associates, Aselsan, Analog Systems, etc.
Our goal is to understand the principles of Perception, Action and Learning in autonomous systems that successfully interact with complex environments and to use this understanding to design future systems