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SPP2100 Mercator Fellows start their reserach in Germany

We are delighted to welcome our two new Mercator Fellows Prof John Rieffel and Prof Paolo Massenio to the DFG Priority Programme 2100. Their expertise and dedication will significantly enhance our research endeavors across two distinct projects.

Prof John Rieffel

Prof Paolo Massenio


Prof Paolo Massenio from the Politecnico di Bari is contributing to the DEA SOFT ROBOTS project, led by Prof Gianluca Rizzello and Prof Stefan Seelecke at Saarland University. The research focus will be the design and validation of novel optimal control strategies based on reinforcement learning for soft robotic structures driven by dielectric elastomer actuators. Their work will be instrumental in advancing the field of soft robotics through innovative approaches and cutting-edge research.

Prof John Rieffel from Union College is working in the SOFTTENS project, collaborating with Prof Valter Böhm and Prof Lena Zentner at the University of Regensburg. The aim of the project is to investigate intrinsically compliant tensegrity structures based on highly elastic materials with distinct stiffness and deformation capabilities, especially with regard to applications in soft robotic systems, which are based on a specific interaction of intrinsic structural and material properties of tensegrity structures and their sensor-actuator capabilities.

Each Mercator Fellow brings their expertise and a unique perspective to our team, and we look forward to the innovative contributions they will make in advancing our collective understanding and objectives.

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