As a PhD student, his research aims at creating novel multi-modal robots for the exploration of hard-to-access environments, notably forest canopies. By harnessing the benefits of different modes of locomotion and combining them, robots can gain arboreal locomotion capabilities and manoeuvre within more challenging and diverse environments. To this aim, he investigates which locomotion modes are beneficial and how they can be combined and fused within a single robot. Novel design and manufacturing approaches are leveraged, while also addressing challenges in control and perception.
Robots with arboreal capabilities could enable forest conservation and restoration by better surveying, monitoring and thus understanding the nature around us.
Steffen Kirchgeorg, born in Coesfeld (Germany) in 1992, joined the Environmental Robotics Laboratory at ETH Zürich in October 2020.
He received his diploma (Dipl.-Ing. / MSc.) in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on aerospace technology from the Technical University Dresden in 2017. During his studies he worked in diverse R&D environments at General Electric and Rolls-Royce on new turbine concepts for applications in stationary power generation and aviation. After completing his degree, he joined the technology start-up Terabee and developed new sensing solutions for robotic, automation and IoT applications. With an interest in creating a contribution towards sustainability with his work, he joined the Environmental Robotics Laboratory in 2020 to pursue a PhD in robotics for environmental applications.