Jean-Daniel Nicoud

Interview Location: Switzerland

Interview Synopsis

In this interview, Jean-Daniel Nicoud discusses his career in robotics and at Lausanne and DIDEL. Describing the state of roboics at EPFL, he reflects on the evolution of the field and his research work. Moving from academia to form a private company (DIDEL), he outlines its motivations and influences, as well as the challenges and potential of robotics applications.  


Jean-Daniel Nicoud was born on August 31, 1938 in Lausanne, Switzerland. He received a degree in Physics from the Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL) in 1963, later completing his doctorate at the same school in 1970. He was appointed Professor at EPFL in 1973, later helping to organize the first International Conference on Microprocessors in 1974. That same year he became director of the Microcomputer Laboratory, a position he held until 2000 when he retired to form his private company DIDEL SA. During his time in academic research, he helped develop the Smaky family of personal computers, the Depraz Mouse, the CALM Common Assembly Language for microprocessors, and other robotic technologies. From 1980-82 he also served as the vice-chairman of the P896 committee.