Our work on soft-actuated aerial microrobot is featured in MathWorks Newsletters. Thank you MathWorks for supporting our students and our research!

Prof. Chen gave an invited talk for the Institute for Robotics & Intelligent Machines (IRIM) at Georgia Tech.

Prof. Chen gave a plenary talk at the International Conference on Manipulation, Automation and Robotics at Small Scales (MARSS 2022).

Prof. Chen gave an invited talk at Penn State’s Mechanical Engineering Seminar Series.

With Professor Pakpong Chiraratantanon at City University of Hong Kong, we organized a special issue in Micromachines. This special issue includes a collection of six research articles in the area of microrobotics.

Our paper “FireFly: An Insect-scale Aerial Robot Powered by Electroluminescent Soft Artificial Muscles” is published in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. See MIT News for a detailed description and video.

Suhan and Zhijian have received the AY22-23 Mathworks Engineering Fellowship. They have been using MATLAB and Simulink extensively to characterize and control micro aerial robots. Congratulations to both!

Prof. Chen received the 2022 IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters Outstanding Associate Editor Award.

We are honored that our paper “Collision resilient insect-scale soft-actuated aerial robots with high agility” was selected as the recipient of the 2021 IEEE Transactions on Robotics King-Sun Fu Memorial Best Paper Award.

With Professor Pakpong Chiraratantanon at City University of Hong Kong, we are organizing a special issue in Micromachines. We welcome submissions (before March 15th, 2022) in the broad area of microscale actuators, sensors, robotics, dynamics and control.

With Profs. Chiraratantanon, Helbling, and Paik, we will be organizing a workshop “Challenges and Opportunities of Bio-inspired Design, Actuation, and Locomotion” at ICRA 2022. The full-day workshop will have ten speakers, panel discussions, and poster presentations. We also welcome poster and abstract submissions.


Our recent paper “High Lift Micro-Aerial-Robot Powered by Low Voltage and Long Endurance Dielectric Elastomer Actuators” is published in Advanced Materials as a cover article and is included in the “Rising Stars” collection. See MIT News for a detailed description and video summary.

Prof. Chen will present our recent development of soft aerial robots at the Vertical Flight Society (VFS). Please register here for online access (confirmation code 12121).

Our collaborative work, “A dynanmic electrically driven soft vale for control of soft hydraulic actuators“, is published in PNAS.

Zhijian Ren, our group’s PhD student, has received a AY21-22 Mathworks Engineering Fellowship. He has been using MATLAB and Simulink extensively to characterize and control micro aerial robots. Congratulations!

Our recent paper is selected as one of the five winners of “RA-L Best Paper Award 2020”. See the full list here.

Our recent work “Collision resilient insect-scale soft-actuated aerial robots with high agility” is published in IEEE Transactions on Robotics. A detailed description of our work can be found in MIT news.

Professor Chen speaks with NPR about his work on developing a new microdrone inspired by insect flights. Full story via National Public Radio (NPR).


Our recent work “Controlled flight of a microrobot powered by soft artificial muscles” is published in Nature. Selected media coverage can be found here: RoboBee powered by soft muscles.

In a 5-minute talk at the MIT Media Lab, Professor Chen briefly introduced the functions and potential applications of insect-scale robots.



Professor Chen was selected on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, in the category of Science. For more information, please check out the link below:

Forbes 30 Under 30, Science category

Forbes: Bite-Sized Robots Could Transform Natural Disaster Search And Rescue

Reuters: Robotic cockroach can walk on land and swim underwater

BBC News: Could a robotic cockroach aid rescues?

Popular Mechanics: Harvard Robotic Cockroach Walks Underwater

Harvard SEAS: Next-generation robotic cockroach can explore underwater environments


Science News: These ‘robo-bees’ can dive, swim, and jump like dolphins

Harvard Gazette: New RoboBee flies, dives, swims and explodes out of water

BBC: The robot that can swim and fly and other tech news

CBC: Insect-sized robot can both fly and swim

Science Friday: Meet The Insect Bot That Uses Water To Fly

Boston Globe: Harvard researchers develop robotic bee that can fly, dive into water, and pop out again

Forbes: New RoboBee Can Fly and Dive Into Water – The Microbot Equivalent Of Smashing Through Brick Walls

Oceans Deeply: Sticky Tech: Robots That Mimic Remoras Could Expand Ocean Exploration

Science News: This robotic ‘remora’ can cling to objects with a force 340 times its own weight


Business Insider: The 19 most important things that happened in robotics this year


IEEE Spectrum: Harvard’s Robot Bee Is Now Also a Submarine

Harvard Gazette: The tiny flying submarine

BBC News: Robotic Bee copies puffins to fly and swim

Fox News: Harvard engineers develop swimming ‘RoboBee’

Yahoo News: Harvard researchers create insect-sized robot that both fly and swim

Engadget: Robotic bees outdo their organic rivals by swimming 2015