Theo Jansen - 'Strandbeest' Kinetic Sculptures

Since 1990, Delft (NL) based kinetic artist Theo Jansen (1948) has been occupied creating new forms of life. Not pollen or seeds but plastic yellow tubes he uses as the basic material of this new nature. He makes skeletons that are able to walk on the wind, so they don’t have to eat, and become increasingly better over time moving across sandy grounds and at surviving the elements such as storm and water. His ‘Strandbeests’ are exhibited all over the world, receiving international fame and awards.

Gökhan Kiper - Deployable Structures

Born in 1982, Gökhan Kiper is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Izmir Institute of Technology, Izmir, Turkey. He is a member of the IFToMM Technical Committee for Computational Kinematics and the IFToMM Technical Committee for Linkages and Mechanical Controls. His main research topics are mechanism design, robot kinematics, deployable structures and kinetic architecture. Among his publications on deployable structures, he is one of the authors of the conference paper “Kinematic Design of a Reconfigurable Deployable Canopy” which was awarded with the Best Application Paper Award at the European Conference on Mechanism Science (EUCOMES) 2014.

Metin Sitti - Micro Biorobotics

Metin Sitti received the BSc and MSc degrees in electrical and electronics engineering & physics from Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, in 1992 and 1994, respectively, and the PhD degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, in 1999. He was a research scientist at UC Berkeley during 1999-2002. He is currently a director in Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, Germany and a professor in Department of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA. His research interests include small-scale mobile robotics, programmable matter, physical intelligence, advanced functional micro/nanomaterials, medical soft robots, and programmable self-assembly. He is an IEEE Fellow. He received the SPIE Nanoengineering Pioneer Award in 2011 and NSF CAREER Award in 2005. He received many best paper and video awards in major robotics and adhesion conferences. He is the editor-in-chief of Journal of Micro-Bio Robotics.

Jonathan Hopkins - Architectured Materials

Jonathan Hopkins is currently an assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles and is the director of the Flexible Research Group. Prior to his coming to UCLA, Jonathan was a postdoc at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He received his bachelors, masters, and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was recently honored by President Barack Obama at the White House with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, which is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on engineering professionals in the early stages of their research careers.