Video Highlight

DARs'16: Programmable Self-Disassembly

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) 

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



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 Group

Research Highlights

April 2017: Radhika gave a TED Talk! at the Annual TED Conference in Vancouver.

Root Team 2016

May 2017: The Root Robot Startup has launched! After a highly succcessful Root Robot Kickstarter in Nov (raised 400K with 1900 backers), we have now raised funding to create our startup. Congrats to Ziv (CEO), Raphael (CTO), Radhika (CSO), Julian, Shay, the extended Root team, and the Wyss Institute that made it possible. Rooting for Root! 

2016-17 Lab News: Congrats to Melvin Gauci, who received the Wyss Technology Development Fellowship! Congrats to Prof. Mike Rubenstein, our lab alum, who won the Sloan Fellowship! Congrats to Helen McCreery who won the James S. McDonnell Postdoctoral Fellowship! And welcome and congrats to our newest member Julia Ebert, who received the DOE Graduate Fellowship. In other news, Radhika gave keynote talks at the annual Qbio Conference and the RSS 2016 Conference, and was interviewed for a really nice MIT Tech Review Profile article. Lots of good news.

Dec 2014: Nature's Top 10 and Science Top 10! Radhika was named by Nature magazine as one of the Top Ten Scientists and Engineers in 2014 (Nature 10, Dec 18 issue). And Our work on cooperative swarms (kilobot and termes) was chosen for Science magazine's Top 10 Breakthroughs of the Year (Dec 19 issue). Congrats to our research team and alums!