Jun.-Prof. Dr. Franziska Mathis-Ullrich

  • Room 119, Building 40.28

    Engler-Bunte-Ring 8

    D-76131 Karlsruhe

Research Interests

  • Minimally-invasive medical robots
  • Softrobotic systems
  • Artificial intelligence for medical applications
  • Robot-assisted surgery
  • Microrobotics

Short bio

Franziska Mathis-Ullrich is Assistant Professor at the of the Institute for Anthropomatics and Robotics (IAR) at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Director of the Medical Robotics Group since 2019. She started her technological journey by pursuing her B.Sc. in mechanical engineering and subsequently consolidated her robotics education with a M.Sc. in robotics, systems, and control at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. During that time, she gained complementary practical experience during several academic and industrial stays abroad at the Australian Center for Field Robotics (Australia), ABB Corporate Research (Sweden), MTU Maintenance (China), and ABB (Switzerland).

In 2016, Franziska Mathis-Ullrich completed her doctorate at the Multi-Scale Robotics Lab (MSRL) at ETH Zurich. Her research focused on the development of several tethered and untethered microrobotic devices to assist in ophthalmic surgery. Subsequently (2016-2018), Franziska worked as a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Multi-Scale Robotics Lab (MSRL) at ETH Zurich and as CEO and co-founder of the startup company Ophthorobotics, where she was highly passionate about the development and commercialization of the worldwide first system that automatically injects medication into the eye for the safe and efficient treatment of chronic ocular diseases.
Franziska’s research interests focus on minimally-invasive medical robots, especially utilizing softrobotic systems, as well as the translation of medical processes towards robot- and KI-assisted surgeries.

For her work, Franziska has received the IEEE ICRA Best Paper Award in Medical Robotics (2014), the IEEE BioRob Best Student Paper Award (2016) and won with her team the first prize of the ICRA Microassembly Challenge (2015). Furthermore, she made it among the finalists of the German Thesis Award (Deutscher Studienpreis) and made it onto the prestigious Forbes "30 under 30" list (both 2017).



  1. Ophthorobotics AG, Intraocular injection system and methods for controlling such a system, WO2017005277 A1, granted: January 2017
  2. Ophthorobotics AG, Stimuli-responsive hydrogel and method for a piercing intervention into a mammalian eye, PCT/EP2017/057772, filed: March 2017


Invited Talks

  1. Roboter in der Medizin am Beispiel des Auges, Efficiency Club Basel, Basel, Switzerland, August 2018
  2. Behavioral Change of Surgeons due to Medical Robotics, Swiss Medtech Insight, Zurich, Switzerland, July 2018
  3. Fighting Age-Related Blindness: Automated Injections into the Eye, Workshop lecture: Advances in Image-Guided Ophthalmic Interventions, Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics, London, UK, June 2018
  4. Nanorobots and the Eye (Keynote Lecture), Montchoisi 3rd Annual Glaucoma Symposium, Geneva, Switzerland, June 2018
  5. Fighting Age-Related Blindness, Women in Digital Basel Meetup, Basel, Switzerland, April 2018
  6. The future role of robot-assisted surgery in Ophthalmology, Emerging Technologies in Medicine (ETIM2018), Artificial intelligence and robotics, Essen, Germany, Feb. 2018
  7. Ein Roboter, der ins Auge sticht – Automatisierte Injektionenn in das Auge, Rotary Club Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, January 2018
  8. Ein Roboter, der ins Auge sticht, Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany, January 2018
  9. Wissenschaft aus der Fiktion – Der robotische Augenarzt, Naturwissenschaftliche Gesellschaft Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland, December 2017
  10. Ein Roboter, der ins Auge sticht, Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany, November 2017
  11. Roboter Winzlinge revolutionieren die Medizin, Lions Club Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, September 2017
  12. Seeing the Surface, NTN Innovative Surfaces Annual Event 2017, EMPA, Dübendorf, Switzerland, September 2017
  13. OP-Robotik: Fortschritte in der IVOM Therapie, International Retina Council, Münster, Germany, September 2017
  14. Ein Roboter, der ins Auge sticht, Schweizerische Management Gesellschaft Forum, Zurich, Switzerland, September 2017
  15. Panel discussion, SAP Forum, Basel, Switzerland, April 2017
  16. Innovative Medizinalrobotik für die Augenchirurgie, Trendtage Gesundheit, Luzern, Switzerland, March 2017
  17. Automated Intravitreal Injection System for the Efficient Treatment of AMD, European Association for Vision and Eye Research (EVER) Symposium, Nice, France, October 2016.
  18. Recent Progress in Microrobots for Ophthalmic Therapies, European Association for Vision and Eye Research (EVER) Symposium, Nice, France, October 2016.
  19. Microrobots in Medicine, VIII. Industrial Automatics Seminar, University of Cauca, Popayán, Columbia, May 2016.
  20. Microrobots in Medicine, Nueva Granada Military University, Bogota, Colombia, May 2016.
  21. Microrobots in Medicine, Universidad Central, Bogota, Colombia, May 2016.
  22. Roboter in meinem Körper, Children’s Lecture (Kindervorlesung) Science City, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, March 2016.
  23. Automatisierte Intravitreale Therapie, ITS Industrie- und Technozentrum Schaffhausen, Schaffhausen, Switzerland, March 2016.
  24. Microrobots in Ophthalmology, Premium Cataract Surgery Symposium, The Health Sciences School of Universidade do Minho, Braga, Portugal, January 2016.
  25. Mikroroboter für minimal-invasive intraokulare Chirurgie, Ophthalmology Departement University Hospital Zurich (USZ), Zurich, Switzerland, November 2015.
  26. Mikroroboter in der Medizin, Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil (HSR), Rapperswil, Switzerland, November 2015.
  27. Mikroroboter für minimal-invasive intraokulare Chirurgie, DOG Symposium (German Ophthalmology Association), Berlin, Germany, October 2015.
  28. Roboter in meinem Körper, Children’s Lecture (Kindervorlesung) Scientifica, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, September 2015.
  29. Nano-Roboter: Kleiner geht’s kaum!, Annual Meeting Swiss Engineering Fachgruppe für Elektronik und Informatik, Zurich, Switzerland, November 2014