Video Highlights

IROS'17: A Soft Autonomous Climbing Robot

RA-L'17: A Small Underwater Robot

Lab Info

Our lab is part of the Computer Science Department, within the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard. We are a core lab member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard, and Prof. Nagpal co-leads the Bio-inspired Robotics Platform. We do research that spans computer science, robotics, and biology in many different ways. Our lab is committed to having a diverse, creative, interdisciplinary, team-oriented, and fun environment.

How to get to our Lab:
Address: 33 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138. Our main group space and lab is in the Maxwell Dworkin Building on the 2nd floor (MD 238 and MD236). (google map) 

Outreach and Lab Tours: We enjoy doing lab tours for groups aiming at broadening participation in robotics and STEM with underrepresented groups. Just contact Radhika. SEAS also offers great lab tours and activities covering all engineering (email 

Joining our lab: [We have closed our postdoctoral positions for Spring 2018] At the moment we are not taking new postdocs or graduate students. However many of our alumni are faculty and have related (and cool!) research programs. If you are interested in research positions, do check out their labs as well (e.g. Profs. Kirstin Petersen (Cornell), Mike Rubenstein (Northwestern), Nils Napp (SUNY)). 



Biological systems, from cells to social insects, get tremendous mileage from the cooperation of vast numbers of cheap, unreliable, and limited individuals. What would it take to create our own artificial collectives of the scale and complexity that nature achieves?

Our group is interested in self-organizing multi-agent systems, where large numbers of simple agents cooperate to produce complex and robust global behavior. We develop bio-inspired robots and algorithms for collective intelligence, drawing inspiration from social insects and multicellular organization. We also model self-organization in biology, specifically how cells and insects cooperate to achieve complex tasks. Our work combines computer science, robotics, and biology.

A common theme in all of our work is understanding the relationship between local and global behavior: how does robust collective behavior arise from many locally interacting agents, and how can we program the local interactions of simple agents to achieve the global behaviors we want.

Summer 2017 SSR GroupThe Crew, August 2017

Research and Lab Highlights

April 2018: Some fun photos! Root at TED and Kilobots-on-aBus!

Root robot at TED conference (April 2018)Kilobots image on the UCSF Bus

Summer 2017: Congrats to Jeff Dusek, who is starting as an Assistant Professor at Olin College! We will miss you. Thanks also to Nicole (Nic) Carey and Jeff for leading a wonderful summer REU experience for 6 students, and to Nic and Julia Ebert for hosting the Bethel STEM Summer Camp (30 kids!) at our lab to see robotics in action. Also, check out our latest work at IROS 2017! on climbing and swimming robots. Finally, Radhika gave a TED Talk! at the Annual TED Conference in Vancouver in April. The talk is now online, and you can watch the video here.

August 2017: RootRobotics Startup has launched! Congrats to Zee (CEO), Raphael (CTO), Radhika (SA), Julian, Shay, Justin, the extended Root team, and the Wyss Institute that made it possible. Check out our WebsitePress Release, and VideoRooting for Root!