Hod Lipson


535E S.W. Mudd

Tel(212) 854-2966

Hod Lipson is a roboticist who works in the areas of artificial intelligence and digital manufacturing. He and his students love designing and building robots that do what you’d least expect robots to do: Self replicate, self-reflect, ask questions, and even be creative.  Lipson’s research asks questions such as: Can robots ultimately design and make other robots? Can machines be curious and creative?  Will robots ever be truly self-aware? Answers to these questions can help illuminate life’s big mysteries. 

Research Interests

Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, digital manufacturing, 3D printing

An award-winning researcher, teacher, and communicator, Lipson enjoys sharing the beauty of robotics though his books, essays, public lectures, and radio and television appearances. ​ He is a professor of Mechanical Engineering and Data Science at Columbia University, where he directs the Creative Machines Lab, which pioneers new ways to make machines that create, and machines that are creative.

Before joining Columbia University in 2015, Lipson spent 14 years as a professor at Cornell University. He received his PhD in 1999 from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, followed by a postdoc at Brandeis University and MIT.  His  work on self-aware and self-replicating robots challenges conventional views of robotics and has enjoyed widespread media coverage. He has also pioneered open-source 3D printing, as well as electronics 3D printing, bio-printing and food printing. Lipson has co-authored over 300 publications that received over 14,000 citations to date. He has co-founded four companies, and is frequent keynoter at both industry and academic events. His TED Talk on self-aware machines is one of the most viewed presentations on AI and robotics.

Research Experience

  • Postdoctoral fellow, MIT/Brandeis 1998-2001
  • Professor, Cornell University 2001-2015
  • Professor, Columbia University 2015-


  • 2014 - 3DBio Inc., Co-founder, Bioprinting
  • 2011 - Nutonian Inc., Co-founder, Eureqa

Honors & Awards

  • US National Academy of Engineering Annual Gilbreth Lecturer, 2012.
  • Forbes “Top 7 Data scientists in the world”, 2011.
  • Popular Science’s one of 25 most Awesome labs in the US, 2011.
  • Discover Magazine’s 25 most important discoveries of 2009.
  • Esquire Magazine Best & Brightest, 2007.
  • Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award, 2007.
  • TIME Magazine’s “Most important events of 2000”.

Selected Publications

  • Kwiatkowski, R., & Lipson, H. (2019). Task-agnostic self-modeling machines. Science Robotics., 4.
  • Li S., Batra R., Brown D., Chang H. D., Ranganathan N., Hoberman C. Rus D, Lipson H. (2019). Particle robotics based on statistical mechanics of loosely coupled components. Nature, 567(7748), 361.
  • Hod Lipson and Mekba Kuran, Driverless: Intelligent cars and the road ahead. MIT Press, 2016
  • Chattopadhyay, I., Kuchina, A., Suel, G. and Lipson H. (2013) "Inverse Gillespie: Inferring stochastic reaction mechanisms from intermittent samples". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (in press)
  • Lipson H., Kurman M., (2012) "Fabricated: The new World of 3D Printing" Wiley Press
  • Brown, E., Rodenberg, N., Amend, J., Mozeika, A., Steltz, E., Zakin, M., Lipson, H., Jaeger, H. (2010) "Universal robotic gripper based on the jamming of granular material," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (cover), Vol. 107, no. 44. .
  • Schmidt M., Lipson H. (2009) "Distilling Free-Form Natural Laws from Experimental Data," Science, Vol. 324, no. 5923, pp. 81 - 85. Try it on your own data.
  • Bongard J., Lipson H. (2007), “Automated reverse engineering of nonlinear dynamical systems", Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, vol. 104,  no. 24, pp. 9943–9948
  • Bongard J., Zykov V., Lipson H. (2006), “Resilient Machines Through Continuous Self-Modeling", Science Vol. 314. no. 5802, pp. 1118 - 1121
  • Zykov V., Mytilinaios E., Adams B., Lipson H. (2005) "Self-reproducing machines", Nature Vol. 435 No. 7038, pp. 163-164 1
  • Lipson, H., Pollack J. B., (2000), "Automatic Design and Manufacture of Artificial Lifeforms", Nature 406, pp. 974-978.