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Marko Bjelonic




Marko Bjelonic (born 1990 in Banja Luka, Yugoslavia) is an enthusiastic roboticist and future entrepreneur. During his doctoral degree at ETH Zurich under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Marco Hutter (ETH Zurich, Prof. Dr. Stelian Coros (ETH Zurich), and Prof. Dr. Sangbae Kim (MIT in Boston), Marko developed optimization-based methods focusing on motion control and planning for wheeled-legged robots over challenging terrain (2017 - 2021), which has more than a million views through prestigious news articles like Reuters, CNN, BBC News, IEEE Spectrum and more. Marko holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from TU Darmstadt, Germany (2010 - 2013, 2013 - 2016). He spent the first year of his Master's degree at the Cybernetics department of NTNU in Trondheim, Norway (2013 - 2014). During his studies, he worked at the Mercedes-AMG GmbH in Affalterbach (Germany), Fraunhofer LBF in Darmstadt (Germany), and most notably at CSIRO in Brisbane (Australia) with Dr. Alberto Elfes and Dr. Navinda Kottege on multi-legged robots. Previous work during his Master's thesis consists of the development of the hexapod robot, Weaver, including its state estimation, perception, autonomy, and control algorithms. In 2020, he managed his family owned business with an annual sales of 350K USD and negotiated a company sale in 2021.


Mar 2021 - Ongoing
Postdoc in Robotics, ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
Mar 2017 - Mar 2021
PhD in Robotics, ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
Jul 2014 - Aug 2016
M. Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Darmstadt (Germany)
Aug 2013 - July 2014
M. Sc. in Engineering (Exchange), NTNU in Trondheim (Norway)
Oct 2010 - Oct 2013
B. Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Darmstadt (Germany)

Professional Career

Sep 2016 - Ongoing
Roboticist, ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
Jul 2020 - Jul 2021
Entrepreneur (annual sales of 350K USD and company sale), Mannheim (Germany)
Mar 2017 - Mar 2021
Researcher, NCCR Digital Fabrication (Switzerland)
Mar 2017 - Mar 2021
Researcher, NCCR Robotics (Switzerland)
Nov 2015 - Aug 2016
Postgraduate Student at Autonomous Systems Lab of CSIRO in Brisbane (Australia)
May 2015 - Oct 2015
Research Assistant at Fraunhofer LBF in Darmstadt (Germany)
Jun 2014 - Feb 2015
Engineering Intern at Mercedes-AMG GmbH in Affalterbach (Germany)
Oct 2008 - Oct 2012
Summer Job at Daimler AG, PKI Zerspanungstechnik GmbH, Kantwerg Isoliertechnik GmbH and Unilever GmbH in Mannheim (Germany)

Talks, Presentations and Media Coverage

June 2021
Workshop on "Legged Robots" at ICRA 2021, Xi' an, China
Nov 2020
Podcast about "Wheeled-legged Robots" by Marwa ElDiwiny featured at the Soft Robotic Podcast: Soundcloud, iTunes, Google Podcast, Spotify
Oct 2020
Media coverage of our new RA-L publication at Reuters, IEEE Spectrum, CNN, yahoo! news, Hackaday, Interesting Engineering, cnBeta, NEW ATLAS, Inceptive Mind, KIJK, La Presse, World Energy Trade, whatnext, Ridus, Pop Mech, Nacional, Finance Sina
July 2020
Workshop on "Real-world Deployment of Legged Robots" at ICRA 2020, Paris, France
May 2020
Live presentation at ICRA 2020 "Hybrid Locomotion for Wheeled-Legged Robots", Paris, France
Sep 2019
Live demonstration "Roller-Walking ANYmal" at Digital Day 2019, Zurich, Switzerland
Sep 2019
ANYmal on wheels with arm featured on armasuisse promotion video, Zurich, Switzerland
July 2019
Talk at Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at University of Washington, invited by Dieter Fox, Seattle, USA
May 2019
Talk at Robotics at Google, invited by Ken Caluwaerts, New York, USA
May 2019
Talk at Boston Dynamics, invited by Kevin Blankespoor, Waltham, USA
May 2019
Talk at Biomimetics Robotics Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), invited by Sangbae Kim, Cambridge, USA
Jan 2019
Talk at Autonomous Systems Group at Apple, invited by Juergen Wiest, Zurich, Switzerland
May 2019
Organizer of workshop “Towards Real-World Deployment of Legged Robots” at ICRA 2019, Montreal, Canada
May 2019
Presenting paper “Keep Rollin'- Whole-Body Motion Control and Planning for Wheeled Quadrupedal Robots” at IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Montreal , Canada
Dec 2018
Interview with RTL Aktuell “ANYmal shows its skills on TV”, Zurich, Switzerland
Oct 2018
Presenting paper “Skating with a force controlled quadrupedal robot” at IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Madrid , Spain
Oct 2018
Presenting paper “An Adaptive Landing Gear for Extending the Operational Range of Helicopters” at IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Madrid , Spain
Mar 2018
Interview with BBC News about “Rollerskating robot to the rescue”, Zurich, Switzerland
May 2017
Presenting paper “Autonomous Navigation of Hexapod Robots with Vision-based Controller Adaptation” at IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Marina Bay Sands , Singapore
Oct 2016
Presenting paper “Terrain-dependant Control of Hexapod Robots using Vision” at International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER), Tokyo, Japan
Oct 2016
Presenting paper “Proprioceptive control of an over-actuated hexapod robot in unstructured terrain” at IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Deajeon, South Korea

Made by Marko Bjelonic