Sabine Hauert


Associate Professor (Reader) of Swarm Engineering
Ada Lovelace Building
University of Bristol
Bristol BS8 1TW, UK

Bristol Robotics Laboratory | Life Sciences Building

email | twitter | youtube


Sabine Hauert is Associate Professor (Reader) of Swarm Engineering at the University of Bristol in the UK. Her research focusses on making swarms for people, and across scales, from nanorobots for cancer treatment, to larger robots for environmental monitoring, or logistics. Before joining the University of Bristol, Sabine engineered swarms of nanoparticles for cancer treatment at MIT, and deployed swarms of flying robots at EPFL.

Sabine is also President and Co-founder of, and executive trustee of, two non-profits dedicated to connecting the robotics and AI communities to the public.

As an expert in science communication with 10 years of experience, Sabine is often invited to discuss the future of robotics and AI, including in the journal Nature, at the European Parliament, and at the Royal Society. Her work has been featured in mainstream media including BBC, CNN, The Guardian, The Economist, TEDx, WIRED, and New Scientist.


EPFL, Switzerland (2006-2011) PhD in Computer Science
EPFL, Switzerland (2005-2006) MSc in Computer Science (5.69 / 6.0)
CMU, USA (2004-2005) Exchange Student in Computer Science (4.0 GPA)
EPFL, Switzerland (2001-2004) BSc in Computer Science

Research experience

University of Bristol, UK (2020-) Associate Professor (Reader) of Swarm Engineering
University of Bristol, UK (2019-2020) Senior Lecturer in Robotics
University of Bristol, UK (2014-2019) Lecturer in Robotics
MIT, USA (2011-2014) Human Frontier Science Program Cross-disciplinary Postdoctoral Fellow, Design of cooperative nanoparticles for the treatment of cancer using machine learning and crowdsourcing. Validation in vitro using tissue-on-a-chip constructs. Supervisor: Prof. Bhatia.
EPFL, Switzerland (2006-2011) PhD candidate, Thesis on the evolutionary synthesis of communication-based strategies to control swarms of aerial robots. Supervisors: Prof. Floreano and Dr. Zufferey.
EPFL, Switzerland (2005-2006) Internship then Master student, Preliminary study of the development of swarm behaviors for flying robots without the use of positioning information. Supervisors: Prof. Floreano and Dr. Zufferey.
CMU, USA (2005) Student Researcher, Optimization of the odometry of the AIBO robots towards the Robocup soccer competition. Supervisor: Prof. Veloso.
EPFL, Switzerland (2004) Student Researcher, Development of aspect-oriented software for the Parallax project at the Laboratory of Software Engineering. Supervisor: Prof. Strohmeier.

Public perception of robotics and AI

Co-founder and President of and – non-profits dedicated to connecting the robotics and AI community to the public (we’ve helped over 1000 robotics and AI practitioners communicate about their work). has 1.5M pageviews each year, 30k followers on social media, and is the top website in robotics.

Podcasts/Blogs/Social Media: Interviewed nearly 100 researchers for the Robohub Podcast, wrote 150 blog posts, tweeted to nearly 5000 followers.
Mainstream Media: CNN Make Create Innovate, BBC Click, BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio, Wired, The Economist, The Guardian. Opinion pieces and interviews in Science and Nature.
Panel Discussions: Royal Society, European Parliament, Conservative Convention, Green Party Convention, London and Manchester Science Museums, Brian Cox Presents Science Matters.
Talks: 40 Invited talks including 3x TEDx.

Committees of prestige

2019 – now BEIS Robotics Growth Partnership (RGP) Leadership Group, UK
2017 – now Royal Society Data Policy Committee, Royal Society, UK
2016 – now euRobotics Education and Competition Boards, Brussels, BE
2016 – now IEEE RAS Industrial Advisory Board, International
2016 – now IEEE RAS Electronic Products and Services Board, International
2015 – now EPSRC and Horizon2020 Review Panels, UK and EU
2016 – 2017 Airbus STAR, International
2015 – 2017 Royal Society Working Group on Machine Learning, Royal Society, UK

Grants and fellowships

2020 – now EPSRC TAS Award
2020 – now Innovate UK Future Flight award
2020 – now HFSP Project Award
2020 – now EPSRC IAA Commercialisation Award
2019 – 2020 EPSRC IAA Commercialisation Award
2018 – now H2020 FET-Open grant EVONANO
2017 – now EPSRC IAA Commercialisation Award
2017 – now University of Bristol Research Fellowship
2014 – now 9 EPSRC PhD studentships (CDT, DTP, and ICASE combined)
2016 – 2017 EPSRC Institutional Support
2015 – 2016 Elizabeth Blackwell Institute Catalyst Grant
2014 – 2015 Gebert Rüf Stiftung Business Development Grant
2011 – 2014 HFSP Cross-Disciplinary Fellowship
2011 – 2014 Agora Public Communication Grant from Swiss Nat. Science Foundation

Teaching and supervision

Supervised 6 PDRAs, 14 PhD students (3 completed), and 50+ undergraduate/MSc final year projects.

Taught over 2000 students in Robotics, Bio-inspired Artificial Intelligence, Engineering Mathematics, Math Data Modelling, and Programming. My teaching is always highly ranked.

Selected Invited Talks

Yow!, Swarm Engineering Across Scales, Brisbane and Melbourne Australia – Santa Fe Institute Public Seminar Series, Swarm Engineering Across Scales, Santa Fe, USA – Thinking Digital, Swarm Engineering Across Scales, Newcastle, UK – Hello Tomorrow, Paris, UK – SynBio Symposium, Swarm Engineering Across Scales, Cambridge UK – Varieties of Mind, Swarm Engineering Across Scales, Cambridge UK – Keynote ARSO, Dehyping Robotics, Genoa, Italy – Royal Society, AI Narratives workshop, London UK – TEDxExeter, Swarm Engineering across Scales, Exeter UK, Keynote IROS Women in Engineering, My Journey Engineering Swarms Across Scales, Vancouver, CA – National Cancer Institute, Swarm Engineering across Scales, Washington DC USA – New Scientist Live, Swarm Engineering across Scales, London UK – Keynote ECAL, Swarm Engineering across Scales, Lyon FR – Leverhulme CFI, Metal People, Cambridge UK – Google UK, Swarm Engineering across Scales, London UK – Royal Society, Launch of the Report on Machine Learning, London UK – IBM Interconnect, Dehyping Robotics and AI, Las Vegas, USA – EU Green Party Convention, Robotics and AI – Threat or Possibility for a Green Society, Leeds UK – AAAS, AI, People, and Society, Boston USA – AAAS, Beyond the Black Box: Toward Transparent and Understandable Machine Learning, Boston USA – Royal Society, Brian Cox Presents Science Matters – Machine Learning and AI, London UK – Royal Society, Learning Machines – How Machines Got Smart, London UK – Conservative Party Conference, Rise of the Machines: Mass Unemployment or Luxury for All, Birmingham UK – NIPS, People and Machines: Public Views on Machine Learning, Barcelona ES – Keynote Collective Motion, From Swarms of Flying Robots to Nanomedicine, Uppsala SE – CMU Robotics Institute Seminar Series, Swarming Nanobots for Cancer Applications, Pittsburgh USA – TEDx, Dehyping Robotics, Berlin DE – Keynote EclipseCon, Swarming Nanomedicine, Ludwigsburg DE – Keynote Austrian Robotics Workshop, Swarming Nanomedicine, Klagenfurt AT – Colorectal Therapies HTC Annual National Meeting, Swarming Nanomedicine, Leeds UK – Nanoparticle Concentration, Chemistry and Interfaces Workshop, Crowdsourcing the design of swarming nanomedicine, Cheshire UK – TEDx, Swarming Nanomedicine, Warwick UK – International Symposium on NanoBiotechnology, Crowdsourcing the Design of Swarming Nanosystems for Cancer Applications, Beijing China – RE.WORK, Crowdsourcing the Design of Swarming Nanosystems for Cancer Applications, London UK – IEEE IROS, Swarming Nanobots for Cancer Applications, Chicago USA – Alife, Insights from Swarm-Robotic Experiments on the Penetration of Targeted Nanoparticles into Tumors, New York USA – Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics, Crowdsourcing the Design of Swarming Nanosystems for Cancer Applications, London UK

Honors and Awards

Society for Experimental Biology President’s Medal, Runner up in the Cell Biology Section (2016).
63rd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Selectee (2013).
Agora Public Communication Grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (2011-2014).
European Podcast Award – Swiss Non-Profit Category (2012).
Human Frontiers in Science Program Cross-Disciplinary Fellowship (2011-2014).
Botsker award for video on Bio-inspired Flying Robots (2011).
Best video award in Artificial Intelligence (2008).
First place at the Robocup US Open with the Carnegie Mellon University team (2005).
Scholarship to perform one year of Masters studies at Carnegie Mellon University as an exchange student (2004-2005).

Event Organization

2022 IEEE ICRA, Publicity Chair, 5000 participants, USA
2021 IEEE ICRA, Workshop on micro-nano swarms, online, CN
2020 ACM Collective Intelligence 2020, Programme Committee, 300 participants, USA
2019 IEEE IROS, Publicity co-chair, 3500 participants, UK
2017 European Robotics Forum, Publicity co-chair, 800 participants, UK
2017 IEEE ARSO, Publicity chair, 200 participants, USA
2016 DARS, Publicity chair, 400 participants, USA
2016 Robotics: Science and Systems, Publicity chair, 400 participants, USA
2016 IEEE-RAS ICRA, Publicity chair, 2000 participants, SE
2015 IEEE-RAS ICRA, Chair for media operations, 2000 participants, USA
2014 – 2015 AAAI Conference, Co-chair of AI Video Competition, 100 participants, USA
2014 EBI, Organizer of the work. on Cooperative Micro-Nano Swarms, 60 participants, UK
2014 Robots: From Imagination to Market, Organizer, 150 participants, USA
2014 IEEE IROS, Co-organizer of the work. on Micro-Nano Swarms, 50 participants, USA
2013 IEEE ICRA, Co-organizer of the work. on Sci. Communication, 30 participants, USA
2009 IEEE CEC, Co-organizer of the Special Session on Evolutionary Robotics, NO
2007 Flying Insects and Robot Symposium, Organization Committee, CH

Program Committees