Robert Katzschmann, PhD 

Research and Work Experience

11/2018 – current Amazon Robotics LLC., North Reading, MA, USA
Applied Scientist, Research on Robotics Manipulation

06/2018 – 10/2018 Distributed Robotics Laboratory, CSAIL, MIT, USA
Postdoctoral Associate in Soft Robotics, Advisor: Daniela Rus

09/2013 – 05/2018 Distributed Robotics Laboratory, CSAIL, MIT, USA
PhD Research Assistant in Soft Robotics, Advisors: Daniela Rus, Russ Tedrake, John Leonard

10/2016 – 11/2017 Seadrone Inc., Palo Alto, CA, USA
Consultant for designing and implementing the control system of SeaDrone ROV

12/2012 – 08/2013 Auris Health Inc., Redwood City, California, USA
Systems/Controls engineer for FDA-approved robot for endoscopy and microsurgery

04/2012 – 10/2012 Artificial Intelligence Lab, Computer Science Department, Stanford University, USA
Research Assistant (Master Thesis), Advisors: Torsten Kröger and Oussama Khatib

07/2011 – 01/2012 ABB Corporate Research Robotics, Shanghai, China
Research Internship: Thermal study and optimization of robotic drive trains


09/2013 – 05/2018 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA
PhD in Mechanical Engineering with Minor in Machine Learning, GPA: 4.9

10/2007 – 01/2013 Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany
Diplom-Ingenieur (Bachelor and Master of Science) in Mechanical Engineering,
Mechatronics, robotics and microsystems technology, GPA: 5.0 


Selected Publications

R. Katzschmann, M. Thieffry, O. Goury, A. Kruszewski, T.-M. Guerra, C. Duriez, D. Rus, "Dynamically Closed-Loop Controlled Soft Robotic Arm using a Reduced Order FEM with State Observer." IEEE RoboSoft, Apr. 2019.

R. Katzschmann, C. Della Santina, Y. Toshimitsu, A. Bicchi, D. Rus, "Trajectory Tracking of Soft Robots Moving in Space." IEEE RoboSoft, Apr 2019.

R. Truby, R. Katzschmann, J. Lewis, D. Rus, "Soft Robotic Fingers with Embedded Ionogel Sensors and Discrete Actuation Modes for Somatosensitive Manipulation." IEEE RoboSoft, Apr 2019.

C. Della Santina*, R. Katzschmann*, A. Bicchi, D. Rus, “Model-based dynamic feedback control of a planar soft robot: trajectory tracking and interaction with the environment.” Int. Journal of Robotics Res., Apr 2019.

R. Katzschmann*, C. Della Santina*, A. Bicchi, D. Rus, “Dynamic control of soft robots interacting with the environment.” IEEE RoboSoft, Apr 2018.

B. Homberg*, R. Katzschmann*, M. Dogar, D. Rus, “Robust Proprioceptive Grasping with a Soft Robot Hand.” Autonomous Robots Journal, Apr 2018.

R. Katzschmann, J. Delpreto, R. MacCurdy, D. Rus, “Exploration of Underwater Life with an Acoustically-Controlled Soft Robotic Fish.” Science Robotics, Mar 2018.

R. Katzschmann, B. Araki, D. Rus, “Safe Local Navigation for Visually Impaired Users with a Time-of-Flight and Haptic Feedback Device.” IEEE TNSRE, Jan 2018.

R. Katzschmann, A. Marchese, D. Rus. “Autonomous Object Manipulation using a Soft Planar Grasping Manipulator.“ Soft Robotics Journal, Dec 2015.

A. Marchese, R. Katzschmann, D. Rus. “A Recipe for Soft Fluidic Elastomer Robots.“ Soft Robotics, Mar 2015.


Awards and Fellowships

09/2013 – 01/2014 Graduate Exploration Fellowship, MIT, USA

12/2012 – 01/2013 IGEL Fellowship by the Faculty of Computer Science, KIT, Germany

04/2012 – 09/2012 Fellowship by the Kurt Fordan Foundation and the Willy-Höfler Foundation, Germany

02/2011 – 01/2012 Heinz Nixdorf Fellowship, German Association for International Cooperation

02/2010 Grashof award for the best final result in mechanical engineering at KIT, Germany


Leadership Experience

09/2017 – 06/2019 Board Member of the Friends of The King Open Public School, Cambridge

02/2015 – 02/2016 Research Exhibition Chair at MIT Graduate Association of Mechanical Engineers (GAME)

12/2009 – 01/2011 Chairman of “studentec e.V.” association for engineering consulting

09/2008 – 05/2011 Member of the faculty council for Mechanical Engineering at KIT



Software C++, Matlab, Solidworks, Python, Mathematica, Altium, Eagle, Abaqus, Ansys

Prototyping Mill, Lathe, Waterjetting, Lasercutting, 3D-Printing, Lost-Wax Casting, PCB Design

Languages German (native), English (fluent), Mandarin Chinese (intermediate)


Selected Media Coverage of Research

Mar. 2018: “Soft robotic fish swims alongside real ones in coral reefs” featured in The New York Times,
The Wall Street Journal
, National Geographic, Reuters, BBC, Nature, CNN, Wired, TechCrunch, LA Times, NPRCNET, Mashable, The Verge, Forbes, IEEE Spectrum, Popular Mechanics, Science Magazine, etc.