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Nicola Rohrseitz - Vissee — We are, We see. Zürich Area, Switzerland, ZH, CH

Nicola Rohrseitz

Technology Expert | Vissee — We are, We see

Zürich Area, Switzerland, ZH, SWITZERLAND

Founder, CEO at ViSSee



I founded the Swiss start-up ViSSee, a spin-off company of the ETH Zurich that won many awards and is recognized as on the way to success.

Before building companies and bringing products to the market I specialized in Robotics and Systems at the Swiss Institute of Technology EPFL, did my MSc thesis in Underwater Robotics at the University of Tokyo, and completed a PhD in Physics and Neuroscience at the ETH Zurich. From my PhD research in applying engineering techniques to discover how the insect brain controls flight came the IP for founding ViSSee.

I serve as technology expert for the European Union, and I am often asked to speak about entrepreneurship and technology at public and professional events. My work has been the subject of many publications, interviews, and a documentary.

Industry Expertise (3)

Computer Software


Consumer Electronics

Areas of Expertise (6)




Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Innovation & Design Thinking

Computer Vision

Accomplishments (4)

De Vigier Entrepreneurship Prize (professional)


The annual prize of the W.A. De Vigier Foundation recognises the top 5 entrepreneurs of Switzerland, the world's most innovative country (*WEF).

Robotics in Weightlessness (professional)


I led a team to test the robot we designed onboard a parabolic flight, the same astronauts use for training.

National Basketball Champion (personal)


In 1998 I won the 1st league national basketball championship with Viganello.

Solo Transiberian Railroad (personal)


I shaved my head and went to Moscow to board a train to Beijing. A slow, life-changing experience

Education (5)

ETH Zurich, Switzerland: PhD, Physics, Neuroscience 2008

Thesis: "Visual groundspeed control principles in Drosophila melanogaster" at the Institute of Neuroinformatics

Lugano 1 High School (Ticino, Switzerland): HS diploma, literature (latin & modern languages) 1999

東京大学 — University of Tokyo: MSc, Underwater Robotics 2005

Master thesis: "Autonomous landmark selection for underwater vehicles using sidescan sonar data" Under the supervision of Professor Ura (URA, IIS).

Mascoutah High School (Illinois, USA): 1996

American Intercultural Student Exchange

Swiss Institute of Technology EPFL, Switzerland: MSc, Microengineering, specialised in Robotics and Systems 2005

Ticino State scholarship. Master thesis: "Autonomous landmark selection for underwater vehicles using sidescan sonar data" Semester projects: "Evolutionary robotics for PalmOS", "zeroGraptor - a multigravity robot"; tested in weightlessness during the European Space Agency's 7th Student Parabolic Flight Campaign.

Affiliations (3)

  • ETH Alumni
  • University of Tokyo Alumni
  • EPFL A3

Testimonials (2)

Jean-Pierre Vuilleumier, Director | CTI Invest

"This is what disruptive technology looks like"

Peter Cochrane, Advisor | TTI/Vanguard

"Nicola = Thanks for coming along and doing such a great job."

Event Appearances (6)

Computation from Nature

TTI/Vanguard NextGens  Charlotte, NC


Cyborg Contribution

The Robot Revolution  San Francisco


Una start-up svizzera può farcela a livello mondiale?

Venture Apéro  Lugano, Switzerland


An electronic fly eye

De Vigier Prize Ceremony  Solothurn, Switzerland


Speed sensors in your pocket

McKinsey Venture  Zurich, Switzerland


Visual Groundspeed Control in Free-Flying Fruit Flies

Engineering Principles in Biological Systems  Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY


Sample Talks (1)

Computation from Nature

Biomimicry is mostly associated with new materials and physical products like Velcro. In this talk, I speak about what we can learn from nature from a computing standpoint, and how to transform these insights into successful products. I will use several examples, such as fruit flies. How is it possible that an insect with such a tiny "onboard computer" can fly around our hand? It uses some remarkable albeit straightforward tricks, and I lead you through methods to discover them in your context.



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader
  • Host/MC
  • Author Appearance
  • Corporate Training


6000 to 28500 *Will consider certain engagements for no fee