Last update: Oct 24, 2014
Contact

Architecture and Sustainable Building Technologies
Department of Architecture
ETH Zürich
Schafmattstr 32
HPZ G 25.2
8093 Zürich, Switzerland
web:   http://suat.arch.ethz.ch/

f+n
Design and Engineering Consulting
   
eMail:  
web:   http://www.f-and-n.com/

This Page is optimized for FireFox 3.0

Research

Current Research: Architecture & Building Systems (2011-)

Buildings are responsible for around 40% of the antopogenic greenhouse gas emissions in the western world. And while the technology to mitigate these GHG emissions is available, economic as well as convenience considerations resulted so far in very few implementations. This is where our research is focused: provide the technological innovations in a manner that are both beneficial for the environment but also increase the well-being of the occupants.

Adaptive Solar Facade

D. Rossi, Z. Nagy, and Arno Schlueter, Adaptive Distributed Robotics for Environmental Performance, Occupant Comfort and Architectural Expression, Int'l. Journal of Architectural Computing, vol.10, No.3, pp. 341-360, September 2012

Soft Robotics

B. Svetozarevic, Z. Nagy, D. Rossi, and Arno Schlueter, Experimental Characterization of a 2-DOF Soft Robotic Platform for Architectural Applications, Robotics: Science and Systems, Workshop on Advances on Soft Robotics, Berkley, CA, USA, 2014

Occupant Centered Control

Z. Nagy, M. Hazas, M. Frei, D. Rossi, and Arno Schlueter, Illuminating Adaptive Comfort: Dynamic Lighting for the Active Occupant, in Proc. 8th Windsor Conference: Counting the Cost of Comfort in a Changing World, April 2014, London, UK

Living Labs: HiLo/NEST & ETH House of Natural Ressources

The above research directions are all implemented and tested in real life conditions (in “Living Labs"):

The HiLo lightweight living unit is being constructed as part of the NEST project at EMPA. Two research groups of the Institute of Technology in Architecture, ETH Zurich, are responsible for the project; the Assistant Professorship of Building Structure (BLOCK Research Group / BRG) and the Assistant Professorship of Architecture and Sustainable Building Technologies (SuAT). The two teams develop their ideas with foreign partners, with Supermanoeuvre from Sydney and Zwarts & Jansma Architects (ZJA) from Amsterdam. The two-story penthouse is designed as energy-plus building and should be completed according to plan in the summer of 2015. The adaptive facade and the occupant centered control are only two of the total five innovations that are being displayed in this living lab.

The ETH House of Natural Resouces (HoNR) is an office building for the Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology from ETH Zürich and will serve as a showcase building of a sustainable and reliable timber construction for students and researchers, among others. The building has multiple innovative aspects, such as the use of beech for structural elements, the implementation of a permanent sensor network, and the performance of in situ tests at different construction stages. We will implement the adaptive solar facade as well as the occupant centered control approach here.

Wireless Sensor Networks for Retrofit

Retrofit measures are an effective means to improve both the heating energy and carbon footprint of a building. On one hand, reducing the losses through the envelope reduces the energy consumption. On the other hand, updating the heating from a fossil-fuel based system to an emission-free one bears the potential for CO2-emission free operation. This project explores how simple measurements can provide useful insight into the energetic behavior of a building and allow to derive models to predict the effect of the retrofit measures.

Z. Nagy, D. Rossi, Ch. Hersberger, S.D. Irigoyen, C. Miller, and A. Schlueter, Balancing Envelope and Heating System Parameters for Zero Emissions Retrofit using Building Sensor Data, Applied Energy, in Press

Previous Research: Microrobotics & Intelligent Systems (2006-2011)

[...] it would be interesting in surgery if you could swallow the surgeon. You put the mechanical surgeon inside the blood vessel and it goes into the heart and looks around.

[...] How do we make such a tiny mechanism? I leave that to you.

- Richard Feynman, There's plenty of room at the bottom, 1959.

Assembling Reconfigurable Endoluminal Surgical (ARES) System

We are developing a modular robotic system that can be swallowed and will assemble inside the G.I. Tract for therapeutic and diagnostic procedures. ETH Zürich is one of four European universities participating in this project, led by Paolo Dario at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna.

My research involves the investigation of the self-assembly of the ARES robot inside the stomach. Using a specific magnet configuration on the connection face, assembly success rates of up to 90% are possible.

Intraocular Microrobots and Control Using Field Gradients

This project aims at developing magnetic microrobotics for ophtalmic surgery.

I am involved in developing the magnetic model for assembled-MEMS microrobots. The model is validated through FEM simulations and experiments, and captures the characteristics of complex 3-D structures. It allows us, for the first time, to consider full 6-DOF control of untethered devices.


The Swiss French Television (TSR, Nouvo, Dec.5, 2008) reported on both projects:

A German (SF1, Einstein, Feb.5, 2009) version is also available.

Non-Smooth Dynamics Modeling of Wireless Resonant Magnetic Microactuators

In this project, we consider world's first really untethered microrobots that are driven by oscillating magnetic fields. The oscillations are converted into mechanical energy and rectified using a spring-mass impact system with friction, leading to stick-slip motion.

I model this system using non-smooth multi-body dynamics and can explain several unintuitive behaviors that are experimentally not explicable because of the nature of the devices. The microrobots are fabricated and characterized experimentally by Dominic Frutiger.



CV

Publications

Journals and Magazines

S. Miyashita, Ch. Audretsch, Z. Nagy, R.M. Füchslin, and R. Pfeifer, Catalysis on the Centimeter Scale, submitted

D. Rossi, Z. Nagy, and A. Schlueter, Soft Robotics for Architects, Soft Robotics, 2014, Vol.1, No. 2, pp. 147-153
doi: 10.1089/soro.2014.0006

C. Miller, Z. Nagy, and A. Schlueter, Automated Daily Pattern Filtering of Measured Building Performance Data, Automation in Construction, vol.49, Part A. pp.1-17, January 2015
doi: 10.1016/j.autcon.2014.09.004

D. Rossi, Z. Nagy, and A. Schlueter, Adaptive Distributed Robotics for Environmental Performance, Occupant Comfort and Architectural Expression, Int'l. Journal of Architectural Computing, vol.10, No.3, pp. 341-360, September 2012
doi: 10.1260/1478-0771.10.3.341

S. Miyashita, K. Nakajima, Z. Nagy, and R. Pfeiffer, Self-organized Translational Wheeling Motion in Stochastic Self-assembling Modules, Artificial Life Early Access (2013), pp. 1-17
doi: 10.1162/ARTL_a_00082

Z. Nagy, R.I. Leine, D.R. Frutiger, C.Glocker, and B. J. Nelson, Modeling the Motion of Microrobots on Surfaces Using Non-Smooth Multibody Dynamics, IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Vol.28, No.5, pp.1058-1068, October 2012
doi: 10.1109/TRO.2012.2199010

Z. Nagy and B. J. Nelson, Lagrangian Modeling of the Magnetization and the Magnetic Torque on Assembled Soft-Magnetic MEMS Devices for Fast Computation and Analysis, IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Vol.28, No.4, pp.787-797, August 2012
doi: 10.1109/TRO.2012.2193230

S. Miyashita, Z. Nagy, B. J. Nelson, and R. Pfeifer, The Influence of Shape on Parallel Self-Assembly, Entropy 2009, 11(4), pp. 643-666
doi: 10.3390/e11040643

Z. Nagy, K. Harada, M. Fluckiger, E. Susilo, I. K. Kaliakatsos, A. Menciassi, E. Hawkes, J. J. Abbott, P. Dario, and B. J. Nelson, Assembling Reconfigurable Endoluminal Surgical Systems: Opportunities and Challenges, International Journal of Biomechatronics and Biomedical Robotics, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp 3-16, 2009
doi: 10.1504/IJBBR.2009.030054

M. Probst, M. Flueckiger, S. Pane, O. Ergeneman, Z. Nagy and B.J. Nelson, Manufacturing of a Hybrid Acoustic Transmitter Using an Advanced Microassembly System, IEEE. Trans. Indust. Electronics, Vol.56, Issue 7, pp. 2657-2666
doi: 10.1109/TIE.2009.2021173

M. Flueckiger, Z. Nagy, M. Probst, O. Ergeneman, S. Pane, and B.J. Nelson, A Microfabricated and Microassembled Wireless Resonator, Sensors & Actuators A: Physical, Vol. 154, No.1, pp.109-116, 2009
doi: 10.1016/j.sna.2009.07.012

Z. Nagy, D. Rossi, Ch. Hersberger, S.D. Irigoyen, C. Miller, and A. Schlueter, Balancing Envelope and Heating System Parameters for Zero Emissions Retrofit using Building Sensor Data, Applied Energy, Vol. 131, October, 2014
doi: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.06.024

F. Beyeler, S. Muntwyler, Z. Nagy, C. Graetzel, M. Moser and B.J. Nelson, Design and calibration of a MEMS sensor for measuring the force and torque acting on a magnetic microrobot, J. Micromech. Microeng. (18) 025004 (7pp), 2008
doi: 10.1088/0960-1317/18/2/025004

J. J. Abbott, Z. Nagy, F. Beyeler, B. J. Nelson, Robotics in the Small, Part I: Microrobotics, IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2007, pp. 92-103
doi: 10.1109/MRA.2007.380641

International Refereed Conferences and Workshops

C. Miller, Z. Nagy, and A. Schlueter, A seed dataset for a public, temporal data repository for energy informatics research on commercial building performance, 3rd Conf. on Future Energy Business & Energy Informatics, Rotterdam, NED 2014

B. Svetozarevic, Z. Nagy, D. Rossi, and A. Schlueter, Experimental Characterization of a 2-DOF Soft Robotic Platform for Architectural Applications, Robotics: Science and Systems, Workshop on Advances on Soft Robotics, Berkley, CA, USA, 2014

Z. Nagy, M. Hazas, M. Frei, D. Rossi, and A. Schlueter, Illuminating Adaptive Comfort: Dynamic Lighting for the Active Occupant, in Proc. 8th Windsor Conference: Counting the Cost of Comfort in a Changing World, April 2014, London, UK

C. Miller, Z. Nagy, and A. Schlueter et. al, BIM-Extracted EnergyPlus Model Calibration for Retrofit Analysis of a Historically Listed Building, Building Simulation Conference, ASHRAE/IBPSA-USA, Atlanta, GA, USA, 2014

D. Rossi, Z. Nagy, and A. Schlueter, Simulation Framework for Design of Adaptive Solar Facade Systems, CISBAT, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2013

D. Rossi, Z. Nagy, and A. Schlueter, Soft Pneumatics for Sustainable Architecture, Int'l. Workshop on Soft Robotics and Morphological Computation, Ascona, Switzerland, 2013

D. Rossi, Z. Nagy, and A. Schlueter, Adaptive Distributed Architectural Systems, ACADIA - Synthetic Digital Ecologies, San Francisco, Ca, USA, October 2012

Z. Nagy, D. Rossi and A. Schlueter, Sustainable architecture and human comfort through adaptive distributed systems, IEEE Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshop (PERCOM), March, 2012, Lugano, Switzerland
doi: 10.1109/PerComW.2012.6197520

Z. Nagy and B. J. Nelson, On the Feasibility of Magnetic Self-Assembly for Swallowable Modular Robots, Workshop on MesoScale Robotics for Medical Interventions at the IEEE Int. Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2010, Anchorage, AK, USA

Z. Nagy, D. Frutiger, R.I. Leine, C. Glocker, and B. J. Nelson, Modeling and analysis of wireless resonant magnetic microactuators, in Proc. IEEE Int. Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2010, Anchorage, AK, USA
doi: 10.1109/ROBOT.2010.5509260

Z. Nagy, S. Miyashita, S. Muntwyler, A.K. Cherukuri, J.J. Abbott, R. Pfeiffer, and B.J. Nelson, Morphology Detection for Magnetically Self-Assembled Modular Robots, in Proc. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2009, St. Louis, MO, USA
doi: 10.1109/IROS.2009.5354764

Z. Nagy, M. Flueckiger, O. Ergeneman, S. Pane, M. Probst and B.J. Nelson, A Wireless Acoustic Emitter for Passive Localization in Liquids, in Proc. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2009, Kobe, Japan
doi: 10.1109/ROBOT.2009.5152292

Z. Nagy, R. Oung, J. J. Abbott, and B. J. Nelson, Experimental Investigation of Magnetic Self-Assembly for Swallowable Modular Robots, in Proc. IEEE/RJS International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2008, Nice, France
doi: 10.1109/IROS.2008.4650662

Z. Nagy, O. Ergeneman, J. J. Abbott, M. Hutter, A. M. Hirt, and B. J. Nelson, Modeling Assembled-MEMS Microrobots for Wireless Magnetic Control, in Proc. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2008, Pasadena, CA, USA
doi: 10.1109/ROBOT.2008.4543315

F. Beyeler, S. Muntwyler, Z. Nagy, M. Moser, and B.J. Nelson, A Multi-Axis MEMS Force-Torque Sensor for Measuring the Load on a Microrobot Actuated by Magnetic Fields, in Proc. IEEE/RJS International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2007, St. Diego, CA, USA
doi: 10.1109/IROS.2007.4399004

Z. Nagy, J. J. Abbott, and B. J. Nelson, The Magnetic Self-Aligning Hermaphroditic Connector: A Scalable Approach for Modular Microrobots, in Proc. IEEE/ASME Int. Conf. Advanced Intelligent Mechatronics, 2007, Zurich, Switzerland
doi: 10.1109/AIM.2007.4412519

Patents

Z. Nagy, A. Sadowski, Systems and Methods for Data Management, U.S. Provisional Patent Application No.: 61/286,835

Under Review

Non Refereed Publications

Z. Nagy, F. Beyeler, Die Mikrowelt entdecken: Die Arbeit mit Mikroobjekten, Bulletin SEV/VSE, November 2009

Media Coverage

Print and Internet

TV and Radio

Awards and Distinctions

  • Erasmus Scholarship
  • IEEE RAS Travel Support (ICRA 2009)
  • Venture Leaders 2009
  • ETH Travel Stipend for pursuing research in the US
  • Swiss Technology Award 2009 for FemtoTools

Professional Activities

Student member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

Technical Reviews

  • IEEE Transactions on Robotics
  • IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics
  • Robotics and Computer Integrated Manufacturing
  • Robotica
  • Tribology Letters
  • IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
  • IEEE/RJS International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)
  • IEEE International Conference on Biorobotics and Biomechatronics (BioRob)
  • IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE)
  • Passive & Low Energy Architecture (PLEA)

Other Activities

  • Session Chair, IEEE/RJS International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)

Teaching

Lectures

Semester Course Duties Students
Fall'06, '07, '08 Introduction to Robotics and Mechatronics Supervision of weekly laboratory sessions and exam grading 60-100
Fall'07, '08, '09 Theory of Robotics and Mechatronics Exam grading 40-90
Spring'08, Fall'09, '10 Microrobotics Prepared and gave lectures and assignments on magnetism 20-40
Fall'13 Low-Ex + Architecture Seminar Prepared and gave lecture on Photovoltaics 10-20

Student Project Supervision

  • Bachelor/Semester Theses: Fah Yik Yong'14, Giovanni Bianchi'14, Zhonghuan Dai'14, Charilaos Mylonas'13, Mario Frei'13, Sandro Hauri'10, Ashish Cherukuri'09, Ciril Baselgia'09, Marco Hutter'07
  • Master/Dimploma Theses: Mario Frei'14, Lei Yang'14, Daniela Schuler'10, Raymond Oung'08
  • Studies on Mechatronics: Heinrich Meier'08, Ivo Leibacher'07, Gregory Hitz'07, Raymond Oung'07
  • Internships/Hilfsassistants: Federico Danieli'14, Nicola Offedu'14, Michael Kyburz'13-'14, Sherief Emam'10, Elliot Hawkes'08, Christina Haupt'08

Education

MIT, Cambridge, USA 10/2009-11/2009 Visiting Graduate Student with Prof. Daniela Rus (CSAIL)
ETH Zürich 2006-2011 Dr. Sc. ETH - Advisor: Prof. Brad Nelson

PhD Thesis: Modeling and analysis of the magnetization, torque and dynamics of untethered soft-magnetic microrobots
ETH Zürich 2001-2006 Dipl.-Ing (M.S.) Mechanical Engineering - Advisors: Dr. Jake Abbott and Prof. Brad Nelson

MSc Thesis: Numerical approaches to 3D magnetic MEMS
Sensirion AG 07/2005-10/2005 Internship (Micro Flow Sensors)
DTU Copenhagen 02/2005-06/2005 Academic Exchange Semester (ERASMUS Scholarship)

Software

Mathematical Modeling MATLAB/Simulink, Mathematica
Numerical Analysis (FEM) ANSYS, COMSOL Multiphysics (FEMLAB), Maxwell-3D
Computer Aided Design (CAD) Unigraphics NX, SolidWorks,
Programming and OS C/C++, PHP/MySQL, Windows, Linux
Documentation and Design MS Office, Latex, Adobe Illustrator & InDesign

Varia

  • Co-Founder of FemtoTools GmbH: FemtoTools designs and fabricates high quality measurement and handling instruments for research and development in the micro and nanodomain.
  • Member of the board of SiROP ETH: SiROP provides a multifunctional web platform with standardised procedures to post, search, and manage projects while using a common browser.
  • Co-Founder of curvit: curvit™ allows students to develop an online portfolio and export any combination of that information into a hard copy resume formatted to the standard of any institution.
Wise Words
No, this trick won't work...How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?

- Albert Einstein
(reload page for new wise words)