Welcome to the Robotics and Intelligent Systems Lab

Our research focuses on dynamics and control of robotics and intelligent systems. We are interested in integrating mechanically intelligent designs with dynamic and efficient control strategies on biologically inspired robots and man-made machines in order to radically improve their functions, pushing the boundaries of what robots are capable of.

The Robotics and Intelligent Systems Laboratory was founded within the Department of Biomedical Engineering, City University of Hong Kong by Prof Pakpong Chirarattananon.


Lab news

  • Excited to share our latest drone, the Hopcopter, which synergizes hopping and flying for unmatched agility and efficiency! 🤖🚀🦿 Read the full paper in Science Robotics (04/2024).
  • Delighted to join the editorial board of npjRobotics! Send us your best robotics research and make an impact! (04/2024).
  • 🤖🚁 In our paper published in npj Robotics (Nature Portfolio Journal), we show quadcopters can leverage propeller airflow physics for exploring unknown environments! (12/2023).
  • We are seeking 2-3 highly motivated postdoctoral researchers postdocs for pioneering bio-inspired robotics research. Projects include resilient drones, soft robots with adaptable morphology, and hybrid robots for multimodal locomotion. Find out more at openings and apply now! (05/2023).

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  • Delighted to win the Best Robot Demonstration Award at the Bio-inspired Soft Aerial Robotics Workshop at RoboSoft 2023 for our work on modular quadrotors with passively foldable airframes! Congrats to Huaiyuan Jia and Songnan Bai for their work. Grateful to the workshop organizers and excited to advance this research further. (04/2023).
  • Our Science Robotics paper is out! The maple seed-inspired vehicle flies twice as long as similarly weighted quadrotors. The story has been reported by SCMP and several media (05/2022).
  • Our collaborative work, “Collision resilient insect-scale soft-actuated aerial robots with high agility”, has been selected to receive the prestigious 2021 IEEE Transactions on Robotics King-Sun Fu Memorial Best Paper Award!  (04/2022).
  • With Professors Chen (MIT), Helbling (Cornell), and Paik (EPFL), we are organizing a full-day workshop at 2022 ICRA–“Challenges and Opportunities of Bio-inspired Design, Actuation, and Locomotion”. The event features ten prominent invited speakers, panel discussions, and poster presentations. Please join us (either in-person or virtually)!  (01/2022).
  • Congratulations to Yi-Hsuan Hsiao, who will be joining the doctoral program at MIT. Yi-Hsuan has also been awarded a fellowship for his upcoming study at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science  (06/2021).
  • Congratulations to Jihao Xu for winning the prestigious Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Award. Jihao will be joining us in Fall 2021, we are looking forward to welcoming him to the team  (04/2021).
  • Professor Yufeng Kevin Chen (MIT) and Dr Chirarattananon are serving as guest editors for a special issue of Micromachines, “Microrobotics: A Commemorative Issue in Honor of Professor Robert J. Wood”. We are soliciting manuscripts from colleagues and interested researchers. The deadline for submission is March 15, 2022. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us to indicate your interest!  (04/2021).
  • We are looking for 2-3 exceptionally qualified students for PhD and MPhil positions for the upcoming 2020 intake. For further detail, please refer to Openings (11/2019).
  • Our collaborative work with Harvard University on flight of microrobots acuated by soft artificial muscles has been published in Nature (11/2019).
  • Congratulations to Jing Shu for the Best Late Breaking Result Award for his work on origami-inspired quadrotor at 2019 IEEE Robosoft (04/2019).
  • We are looking for 2-3 exceptionally qualified students for PhD and MPhil positions for the upcoming 2019 intake. For further detail, please refer to Opportunities (08/2018).
  • Check out our latest work on the hybrid aerial-aquatic microrobot published in the journal Science Robotics [video] (10/2017)
  • Dr Chirarattananon will be present at the International Conference on Intelligent Robotics and Application (ICIRA 2017) in Wuhan, China as an invited speaker for the “Soft, Micro-Nano, Bio-inspired Robotics” session from Aug 15-18 (08/2017).
  • Our Science paper on perching of a robotic insect with electrostatic adhesion in 2016 has been selected by the Chinese Academy of Science as one of the top 10 papers in Physics that have the highest public impact in 2016 (06/2017).
  • Dr Chirarattananon will be among eight speakers at the Technology Forums as part of the Frontier Research & Innovation event at CityU on 12 April 2017. Further details can be found at the event page (03/2017).
  • Our paper, “Dynamics and flight control of a flapping-wing robotic insect in the presence of wind gusts”, appears in the journal Interface Focus (02/2017).
  • Dr Chirarattananon receives The President’s Awards 2016 from CityU for his exemplary contributions to CityU’s research and professional education (01/2017).
  • We are looking for 2-3 exceptionally qualified students for PhD positions for the upcoming 2017 intake. For further detail, please refer to Opportunities (08/2016).
  • “Perching and takeoff of a robotic insect on overhangs using switchable electrostatic adhesion” appears in the journal Science [video] (05/2016).
  • Congratulations to Ee Huei Ng for winning the 2016 HK PhD Fellowship. Ee Huei Ng will be joining us in Fall 2016 (04/2016).
  • “Perching with a robotic insect using adaptive tracking control and iterative learning control,” appears in the International Journal of Robotics Research [video]  (02/2016).
  • A review paper “Aerodynamics, sensing, and control of insect-scale flapping-wing flight” appears in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London A (01/2016).