Prof. Dario Floreano is the director of the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). Since 2010, he is the founding director of the Swiss National Center of Competence in Robotics, a 12-year funded program that brings together more than 20 research laboratories across Switzerland to investigate intelligent robots for improving the quality of life (wearable robots, rescue robots, educational robots). He is also the coordinator of the European Project RoboFood.org (starting in Oct. 2021) aimed at developing edible robots and food with robotic capabilities.
Prof. Floreano holds an M.A. in Visual Psychophysics, an M.S. in Neural Computation, and a PhD in Robotics. He held visiting fellowships at Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Tokyo, at Caltech/JPL in Pasadena, and at Harvard University in Boston. His research interests focus on biologically inspired robotics and artificial intelligence. Prof. Floreano made pioneering contributions to the fields of evolutionary robotics, aerial robotics, and soft robotics that have been published in more than 400 peer-reviewed articles. He also wrote books on Artificial Neural Networks (il Mulino, in Italian, two editions), Evolutionary Robotics (MIT Press, two editions), Bio-inspired Artificial Intelligence (MIT Press, two editions) and Bio-inspired Flying Robots (Springer Verlag). The new book Tales from a Robotic World: How intelligent machines will shape our future will be published by MIT Press in September 2022.
Prof. Floreano spun off two robotics companies: senseFly.com (2009, acquired by the Parrot Group in 2016), which has become a world leader in drones for agriculture and imaging, and Flyability.com (2015), which is the world leader in inspection drones for confined spaces. He was featured by The Economist in a center-page portrait as a pioneer in evolutionary robotics and aerial robotics. In the early days of podcasts (2006), he started a popular bi-weekly podcast on the science, technology, and business of robotics (“Talking Robots”) that he students later expanded into RoboHub.org, the world-leading platform for information on robotics technologies and applications for professionals and the public.
Prof. Floreano served for two terms in the Advisory Board of the Future and Emerging Technologies division of the European Commission, has been vice-chair of the World Economic Forum Agenda Council on Smart Systems and Robotics, has been a cofounder of the International Society of Artificial Life, served as elected member of the Board of Governors of the International Neural Network Society, is on the Advisory Board of the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, and has joined the editorial board of ten scientific journals. He also co-organized several international conferences and thematic workshops on bioinspired drones and soft robotics, which are now considered foundational events for those communities.