Stefano Mintchev is Assistant Professor of Environmental Robotics at ETH Zurich since April 2020. His Environmental Robotics Lab ist located at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest Snow and Landscape Research WSL in Birmensdorf.
Stefano Mintchev, born in Pisa (Italy) in 1986, studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pisa and at the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies (2005-2010). He received his Ph.D. degree in Biorobotics in 2014 from The BioRobotics Institute (Italy) under the supervision of Prof. Stefanini. In the period 2014-2018 he was postdoctoral researcher in Aerial Robotics at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems, EPFL (Switzerland) with Prof. Floreano. In 2017 he co-founded and contributed to the development of the start-up Foldaway Haptics, where he served as CTO until March 2020.
Stefano Mintchev participated to several international research projects. During his Ph.D. he led the development of underwater robots for the European projects Lampetra (FP6), ANGELS (FP7) and CoCoRo (FP7). During his postdoc he participated to the SNSF NCCR Robotics project, where he was involved in the development of drones for search and rescue applications. With the start-up Foldaway Haptics, he gained considerable experience in industrial collaborations. He contributed to the development of the “bionic-flaps” for the Mercedes-Benz VISION AVTR concept car.
The research interests of Stefano Mintchev are focused on robotic science and technology for the exploration of complex and inaccessible natural environments. His current research activity concerns the development of arboreal robots to navigate inside forest canopies and to collect data and biological samples at different spatial and temporal scales. The research addresses key scientific questions on multimodal locomotion, perception and soft manipulation, which are necessary for the interaction with natural environments. These new robotic methods are fundamental for exploring ecosystem properties and assessing the state and changes in ecosystem functions and services.