Metin Sitti is the President and Professor of Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey since fall 2023. Formerly, he was a Director of the Physical Intelligence Department at Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany (2014-2023), Professor at ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2020-2024), and Professor at Carnegie Mellon University (2002-2014) and a research scientist at UC Berkeley (1999-2002) in USA. He received his BSc (1992) and MSc (1994) degrees from Boğaziçi University, Turkey, and PhD degree from University of Tokyo, Japan (1999). His research interests include small-scale mobile robotics, bio-inspiration, wireless medical devices, and physical intelligence. He is a National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Member in USA and an IEEE Fellow. He received the Highly Cited Researcher recognition (2021, 2022, 2023), Breakthrough of the Year Award in the Falling Walls World Science Summit (2020), ERC Advanced Grant (2019), Rahmi Koç Science Medal (2018), SPIE Nanoengineering Pioneer Award (2011), and NSF CAREER Award (2005). He received over 15 best paper and video awards at major conferences. He has supervised and mentored over 70 (25 current) PhD students and 70 (15 current) postdocs, where over 50 of his group alumni are professors around the world. He has published 2 books and over 400 journal articles and has over 12 issued and 18 pending patents. He founded Setex Technologies Inc. to commercialize his lab’s gecko-inspired microfiber adhesive technology. He is the editor-in-chief of Progress in Biomedical Engineering and Journal of Micro-Bio Robotics journals and associate editor in Science Advances journal.


Keynote Talk: Wireless Soft Medical Milliscale Robots inside the Body

Abstract: Wireless miniature medical robots have the unique capability of navigating, operating and staying inside hard-to-reach, tight and risky sites inside our body. This talk reports on our group’s recent milliscale wireless soft medical robots that could navigate in confined spaces inside our body to achieve various medical functions, such as local active drug delivery, clot opening, liquid biopsy, biofluid pumping, and hyperthermia. Due to miniaturization limitations on on-board actuation, powering, sensing, computing and communication, new methods need to be introduced in creating and controlling such robots. Moreover, they need to be tracked under medical imaging modalities, such as ultrasound and fluoroscopy, for their precise and safe operation and control. 3D microprinting and assembly-based fabrication methods and multifunctional soft composites are proposed to create novel wireless soft medical millirobots. Soft-body design enables active shape programming-based adaptive and multimodal navigation, diverse functions, and safe operation. Here, external magnetic fields or gradients are used to actuate and steer such miniature robot bodies with complex magnetic programming. These implantable wireless medical robots are aimed to decrease the invasiveness and increase the efficacy and accessibility of current medical robots inside the body drastically in the near future.