firstname.lastname @ colorado.edu
My research focuses on a new class of smart materials that deeply embed sensing, actuation, computation and communication in order to adapt their physical properties to changing requirements. As such robotic materials currently only exist in the lab, we investigate all aspects that are needed to make robotic materials ubiquitous, ranging from their design, their control using distributed algorithms and swarm intelligence, to their autonomous assembly.
Nikolaus is an associate professor at the Department of Computer Science with courtesy appointments at the Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering and the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He obtained a PhD from EPFL advised by Alcherio Martinoli in 2007, and spent two years at MIT CSAIL working with Daniela Rus as a post-doc. Before moving to EPFL, Nikolaus was a research assistant in the Collective Robotics Group at Caltech in 2003, also with Alcherio Martinoli. Nikolaus earned a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zürich) in spring 2003. He wrote his master’s thesis at the Collective Robotics Group at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA, about collaborative coverage supervised by Alcherio Martinoli and Joel Burdick, and spent a term at Lunds Tekniska Högskola (Lund Institute of Technology, Sweden) as an exchange student at the Department of Automatic Control working with Rolf Johansson in 2002. Before moving to ETH Zuerich in 2000, Nikolaus studied electrical engineering at the Technical University of Munich from 1998.
Nikolaus is a senior member of the IEEE and the Robotics & Automation Society.
- Best Paper Award at the 3rd Conference on System-integrated Intelligence (SysInt), 2016.
- Best Paper Award at the International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems (DARS), 2014.
- “Best in Show” and “Best in Most Inclusive and Usable Design” at the International Symposium on Wearable Computing 2012.
- NASA Early Career Fellowship 2012
- NSF CAREER award 2012
- Finalist for the NTF Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 2009.
- Best Paper Award at the 10th International Conference on the Simulation of Adaptive Behavior (SAB), Osaka, Japan, 2008.
- Nominated for the 2008 EPFL Best PhD Thesis Award.
- Best Paper Award at the International Symposium on Distributed Autonomous Robotic Systems (DARS), 2006.
These are writings that address the broader impact of my research and profession. Please refer to my lab’s publications for our scientific output.
- Crowdfunding of science leads to innovation and better public engagement, The Conversation (UK), May 2014.
- Space exploration can drive the next agricultural revolution, The Conversation (UK), December 2013, originally appeared on Robohub.org (extended version) and also syndicated on Space.com.
- Online classes, threat or blessing?, November 2012.
- Boulder is for robots, January 2012 on Feld.com