Tag Archives: Research

Work-Life in EPFL

It wasn’t until my final day at EPFL when it suddenly dawned upon me — I have been here for 3 whole months, and I am now at the end of my internship. Everything felt (and still feels) so surreal. As I reminisce about my summer break, I thought to penning my thoughts into this blog post.

Ever since I received my invitation letter to the internship at EPFL, I was excited for many reasons. For one, I have been looking forward to visiting EPFL (one of the best research universities in Europe) for years. But apart from the academic/research reasons, it is also my first time visiting Switzerland and Europe.

My weekdays were spent in the BioRobotics Laboratory (BIOROB) in EPFL, under Professor Auke Ijspeert. My task was mainly software development work for the actuators the lab use for their robots. My works are made available online on github, for anyone who uses Dynamixel motors! (Let us know if you find these tools useful!) I worked closely with my supervisor, Dr Kamilo Melo, with other labmates and the robots in the lab. Being new to the field of robotic research did not set me back; instead, I have learned a lot about robotics and animal locomotion from my three-month internship here. Dr Kamilo has been particularly attentive and patient, being always present to answer my questions anytime (“Tell me”, as he always responds). The lab community was also a friendly and close-knit one. We go out to lunch together (often as a large group of 8-10) and talk about anything under the sun, from our research to life in general.

In my weekends, I ventured out, visiting different places in Lausanne, in Switzerland and in Europe. Here’s a few highlights of my weekend ventures.

Despite being a small city, Lausanne has several places worth visiting. Within the city, there are some walking tours through the old city suggested online — try it! The vivarium and the Sauvabelin tower are also some highlights in Lausanne that I highly recommend.

Trip around Old Lausanne

The Komodo Dragon in Vivarium

Sauvabelin Tower

In Switzerland, I visited castles, museums and, of course, cheese and chocolate factories. (Things not to be missed: Tours@CERN, Visit to Maison Cailler [Chocolate]) Getting to these places were pretty convenient with an efficient and comfortable rail transport system.

Free tours at CERN!

Maison Cailler – A chocolate house/museum/factory

From Lausanne, it was also pretty convenient to take high speed rails to Paris and to Milan for my “European experience”.

At EPFL, the internship has been fulfilling and meaningful. But beyond that, being in Lausanne has provided me with a fun and relaxing summer break. I guess that’s what one calls “Work-Life balance”!

Gary Lee, Stanford University

On My Research


Like many in this program, I work in a specialized lab working on a specialized topic that even I knew nothing about before starting this internship (to say nothing of my fellow interns). Having been asked to explain the topic multiple times, I wrote a relatively short and understandable blog post on the topic, which I will only link to rather than copying the whole thing here. The work is about as research-y as it gets, dealing with exciting new ideas that are far from practical application but high in potential. It is also very different from my past work in robotics, which has made the internship so both more challenging and fulfilling.

Infromal talks with Ben was seemingly what led to the idea of a public tour of his lab past Friday, and I look forward to any more such tours or talks about the work of other interns here. One of the benefits of a program such as this is gaining exposure to such new concepts as the memristor, and I hope to be exposed to even more novel concepts completely outside my expertise in the next few months.

Andrey Kurenkov, Georgia Institute of Technology
Microelectronic Systems Lab, EPFL