About DBL

Mission statement, contact information and our history


With bio-robotics we mean robots with biologically inspired designs and/or biology-related applications, for example bipedal walking machines and robotic arms for rehabilitation. With the term bio-robotics we want to oppose conventional industrial robotics, which often heavily rely on control algorithms, stiff and heavy structures, and high-power actuators.

We believe that the challenge of robotics of the future lies in safe human-robot interaction. This implies a totally different set of design requirements than for robots for the structured factory environment. Not necessarily high speeds and position accuracy, but rather sensitivity ("tenderness") and compliance. Such requirements motivate us to study biology, not only as the environment that the robot must interact with, but also as a source of design inspiration. Are not the autonomous systems of mother nature the best designs ever?

Mission statement

To develop novel, safe, and efficient robotic systems by looking at biology as a source of design inspiration and as the environment for interaction.

Contact information

Postal and visiting address

Delft University of Technology
Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

Department of BioMechanical Engineering

Delft BioRobotics Lab
Mekelweg 2
2628CD Delft
The Netherlands


Delft Biorobotics Laboratory was founded in 1996 by Richard van der Linde. A timeline:

Andre Schiele joined DBL for an external PhD project, in based on his work on a whole-arm exoskeleton for teleoperation in space. This is a joint project with ESTEC.

Daan Hobbelen joined DBL to start a PhD on biped robots.

Richard van der Linde recieved an NWO grant for Haptic Grasping. For this project, PhD-student Goran Christiansson and support engineer Erik Fritz joined DBL.

Richard van der Linde obtained his PhD-degree (cum laude) on biped robots. Since then he works part-time as an assistant professor at DBL and part-time as a robotics consultant, currently at ALTRAN.

Martijn Wisse joined DBL to start a PhD on biped robots.

Richard van der Linde obtained an STW grant for Biped Robots. This grant allowed him to finish his own PhD-research, to hire support engineer Jan van Frankenhuyzen, and to hire Martijn Wisse as successor in 2000.

Richard van der Linde obtained his MSc-degree with a self-defined project on biped robots. This was effectively the birth of DBL.