Stelian Coros
ETH Zurich

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at ETH Zurich, where I lead the Computational Robotics Lab (CRL). I am also an Adjunct Professor in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. I received my PhD in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia in 2011. My work bridges the fields of Visual Computing, Robotics and Computational Fabrication. For further information, please refer to my group's homepage:


Research Interests:

Next-gen Robots: Mobile robots for service, assistive care, personal augmentation, education and entertainment will fundamentally improve many aspects of our lives. To reach their full potential, these robotic systems need to become much safer, more nimble and more versatile than they are today. Drawing insights from computer science, applied mathematics and engineering, and leveraging advances in digital fabrication technologies, I develop algorithmic foundations that will shape the way future generations of robots are computationally designed, manufactured, controlled, and how they behave as we interact with them.
Computational Fabrication: 3D Printing is unmatched in its ability to create complex geometric structures, it employs an ever-expanding range of materials, it can create one-off parts at virtually no extra cost, and it is increasingly accessible to new classes of designers. These exciting new capabilities are paving the way to a shift from mass production to personalized design and fabrication. However, they also introduce significant research challenges: the vast space of design possibilities far exceeds our current ability to create content for digital fabrication. To overcome this technological barrier, I am interesting in novel CAD tools and methodologies powered by physics-based design.
Novel Tools for Animation: Given the growing demand for increased complexity and realism, especially in light of emerging AR/VR technologies, the evolution of animation techniques has never been more important. I am therefore interested in a variety of animation-related research topics: from methods that leverage the skill of professional animators, to tools that allow children to create animated versions of their imaginative stories; from models for simulating the behavior of passive objects, to methods that breathe life into virtual characters; from highly accurate simulations of the human musculoskeletal system, to autonomous digital creatures that can be directed as if they were actors under the guidance of a film director.

Honors and Awards:

National Science Foundation: Research Initiation Initiative Award, 2016
Intel Early Career Faculty Award, 2015
Alain Fournier Award: best Canadian Computer Graphics Dissertation, 2010
NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship, 2006

Professional Activities: Technical program chair

ACM Symposium on Computational Fabrication, 2017.
ACM Symposium on Computer Animation, 2015.

Press (selection)

IEEE Spectrum: Clever Modular Robots Turn Legs Into Arms on Demand
Eurekalert: Bendy bots use twisty telescopic limbs
Eurekalert: CMU's interactive tool helps novices and experts make custom robots
Makezine: Design Tool for 3D-Printable Robots from Disney Research
3ders: Disney Research makes 3D printable robotic design easier than ever with interactive design tool
IEEE Spectrum: Disney Software Makes It Easy to Design and Print Custom Walking Robots
Wired UK: Disney Research helps novices 3D print robots from scratch
New Scientist: 3D print extra bits for old objects to help extend their life
Discovery Channel: Daily Planet Interview: Designing 3D printable robots
Wired: Disney Infinity STAR WARS reinvents the classic AT-AT takedown
Gizmag: Disney Research software makes mechanizing characters easy
Gizmodo: Animatronics Could Go Mainstream Thanks to Disney's Latest Program
Wired: Disney Research: computational design of mechanical characters
Wired UK: Disney software simplifies creation of gear-driven automata
The Engineer UK: Mechanical motion added to 3D-printed creations
3D Printing Industry: Disney Develops Method to Simplify Animatronics with 3D Printable Parts Software systems add motion to physical characters
New Scientist: Virtual walkers lead the way for robots