Sheffield Microrobotics Lab

Autonomy in miniature artificial life



Our ultimate goal is to create miniature autonomous "life" in the form of miniature robots through the understanding of principles in nature, with the aim of broadening the possibility of robotics at a small scale. Our research interests reside in the fields of Robotics, Self-assembly, Embodied AI, Material sciences, Biomedical engineering, and Artificial Life.

Microrobots and Living matter

The project aims to develop the next generation of manufacturing technology inspired by chemical synthesis.

Origami Robots

The project aims to develop “autonomous and cognitive smart materials” using origami robot techniques | Preprint PDF | YouTube

Ingestible (origami/capsule) robots & robotic implant

The project aims to develop a robot that can be ingested or can reside inside the body and carry out micro-surgical operations.

PhD openings

PhD positions available for entry in the 2024/25 academic year:

PhD positions available for entry in the 2025/26 academic year:

If you are interested in the position, please contact shuhei.miyashita at We also accept self-funded students with good grades.


Shuhei Miyashita, Lecturer (Assistant Professor)
Ahmed Hafez, Postdoctoral Fellow
Junyi Han, PhD candidate
Xiao Chen, PhD candidate
Zihan Zhao, PhD candidate
Umur Harman, PhD candidate
Zhiming Shen, visiting PhD student from Nagaoka Univ. of Tech
Rathan Nidhi Kumaran Thirumalai Kumar, MSc student
Changrui Deng, MSc student
Darshan Barath Muthuveeran Ramakrishnan, MSc student
Vivek Kamble, MSc student
Han Jin, MSc student
Dingyi Zhao, MSc student

About the PI:

Originally from Japan, Shuhei Miyashita earned his Ph.D. from the University of Zurich in 2011, supervised by Prof. Rolf Pfeifer. He is currently a Lecturer at the University of Sheffield, leading the Sheffield Microrobotics Lab. Prior to Sheffield, he held postdoctoral positions at MIT (2012-2015, under Prof. Daniela Rus) and Carnegie Mellon University (2011-2012, under Prof. Metin Sitti), and was a Lecturer at the University of York (2016-2018, permanent position).

Miyashita's work in `Autonomy in miniature artificial life' spans micro- and milli-robotics, rapid prototyping, and particularly ingestible origami robots for medical applications. He has been sponsored by the EPSRC (New Investigator Award), UKRI, and MRC. He also won the ROBIO Best Paper Award (2014), was a finalist for the IEEE ICRA best paper award (2015), and a finalist for the 2017 Katerva Award (referred to by Reuters as "the Nobel Prize for Sustainability"). His origami robots have been well recognised and featured by media outlets such as IEEE Spectrum (ranked 7th in "The most read automation stories of the last decade (2010-2019)" in 2020), National Geographic (one of "12 Innovations that will revolutionise medicine" in 2019), BBC (2017), CNN (2015), and have garnered over 3 million views on YouTube, among others.

Throughout his career in UK institutions, Miyashita mainly teaches Robotics and Mechatronics courses and was nominated for the Vice Chancellor’s Teaching Award in the Digital Innovation category, where he received special commendation in 2021.

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Sheffield Microrobotics Lab.

Kroto Research Institute,
Red Hill, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S3 7HQ, UK

Department of Autonomous control and Systems Engineering

University of Sheffield

shuhei.miyashita at
+44 (0)114 2225662