The Team

Our team consists of six mechanical engineers, two electrical engineers, two
industrial designers and is supported by a group of eight amazing coaches at ETH Zurich!
Each member contributes their unique expertise and know-how to the project.
Rowesys receives further help by a number of sponsors, adding to the success of this project.


Gian Erni Project Manager
Software / Controls Team

I am responsible for communications and a part of the software development team.

My goal for this project is to learn what is needed to develop a prototype. I really like to be able to go through a whole product development process and see the different facets of it. To see the transformation of an idea to an actual product. I additionally hope that we as a team are able to build a system that satisfies our criteria and to be able to show all the people and organizations which believed in us our final product. Hoping to further encourage research on the field. 

Pascal Lieberherr System Design Lead
System Design Team

In 2050, planet earth will be home for more than 9 billion people and all of those people need to have access to healthy food. My passion lies in creating solutions for the agriculture of tomorrow. Particularly, I am driven by finding solutions that allow an efficient and effective weed management without the use of herbicide. With this in mind, I decided to dedicate the last year of my bachelor to the Focus-Project ROWESYS.

Before I joined ETH as a mechanical engineering student, I went through an apprenticeship. In the first half of the project, I will be working on the system design with a focus on the tool. My goal is to find the best possible and reliable tool to destroy the weed. In the second half, my focus lies on software development. Additionally, as a System Engineer I am responsible for the interfaces.

In the winter you will find me on the slopes and when there is no snow you might find me on a soccer field or a tennis court.

Manuel Knecht CAD Superuser
System Design Team

Feeding the world will have to change in the near future. Working on this focus project gives me the possibility to become part of this shift. After an apprenticeship before the studies, I want to get practical again and combine the newly acquired knowledge with my hands-on experience. In this project I want to take the chance to realize an idea from start to finish in a team of other motivated and dedicated students.

I am eagerly interested in system design and therefore belong to the core team for designing. I also hope to give the electrical engineers a hand and deepen my knowledge in the wiring and actuation of our robot. 

I spend my leisure time in the ‘Jungwacht und Blauring’ and play handball.

Timo Schönegg Software Lead
Electrical Engineering Team

Using my abilities and knowledge to contribute to society has always been very important to me. Having grown up in the countryside, I know the time consuming production conditions involved in organic farming. The most recent major increase of efficiency in agriculture was in the field of chemistry, but meanwhile robotics have made huge progress. Technological advances in electronics now make it possible to reduce and eliminate the need for pesticides in agriculture. With this project, I want to contribute to achieving this goal.

As an electrical engineering student, I am responsible for the electronic part of our robot, which is the link between hardware and software. Having a highly reliable electronic system is essential for every successful robot, and it is an overarching goal to achieve this. I am also part of the software team since I already have experiences in programming robots from former projects.

In addition to my studies, I am involved in university policy and artistic gymnastics as a balance to keep myself fit.

Andrea Cavelti Electrical Lead
Electrical Engineering Team

For a sustainable agriculture it is essential to reduce pesticides, that’s why I am especially interested in building an eco-friendly weeding robot.  Furthermore, I decided to work on the project to use my gained knowledge in a more practical way. As a group, I am looking forward to the project development; from the drawing board to the finished product.

My scope in this project includes everything from power supply to sensors. Later my work will be primarily focused on the software. In order to master this challenge, my many years of experiences, from programming a small soccer playing robot, will be of good use. I’m ambitious, open-minded and ready to work hard for the best possible final product.

Along with my studies in electrical engineering, I like to cook, coach a high school robotic team and do sports, such as cross-country skiing or inline skating.

Anna Bossard Organization
Software / Controls Team

What made me want to take part in this focus project was the prospect of being able to work towards a solution to a pressing problem we face today: the overuse of pesticides. I am excited to apply the knowledge I have gained in my studies of mechanical engineering to this real-life issue and make the world a greener place.

In the project, I am going to be a part of the controls/software gang: On the one hand I am very interested in how software and electrical engineering interact and on the other hand I want to build up my knowledge about computer vision.

In my free time I like to cook or be cooked for. I also enjoy doing sports (fortunately, considering all the cooking).

Markus Wagner Finances, Manufacturing and Logistics
System Design Team

To be a cogwheel in making the whole world a more sustainable one, is what drives me in this project. The mechanical challenges that we might face are of particular interest, and I am looking forward to transforming our knowledge and our vision into a working machine that might change the way we do weeding. 

In the project, I am part of the core team for system design and responsible for the finances and the infrastructure. I bring organisational experience as well as the will to develop a unique system. 

Beyond my studies, I enjoy nature with my scouts or while riding on a horse.

Nico Burger Sponsoring
Software / Controls Team

I was originally inspired to apply for this project to learn more about team-dynamics and applying my theoretically acquired knowledge by finding practical solutions to technical problems. Presently, I am highly motivated to find a viable method to reduce the reliance on herbicide and make weeding more sustainable.

As a mechanical engineer I am really interested in system design, this being one of the key tasks necessary to complete our project. My true passion, however, lies in programming which is why I am pleased to be a part of the software/controls division.

Furthermore, I am responsible for the sponsorship of our project.
Contacting potential sponsors and enhancing the project’s marketing are aspects which I enjoy and am excited to learn more about.

During my free time, you might find me on an occasional running/swimming session or at BQM (our university’s local and best bar).

Laurin Baumann Social Media
Industrial Design Team

As an industrial designer, my goal is to shape the future in a sustainable and innovative way. Agriculture is facing a turning point in history. The demand for food is increasing worldwide. Creative and innovative solutions are needed to counteract a corresponding increase in herbicides and pesticide consumption. We are working as a team to develop an alternative and groundbreaking product.

Silvans and my role as an industrial designer ranges from consistent design to creative and user-friendly handling. Silvan Häseli introduced me to the project. I was immediately thrilled to be able to help create something so groundbreaking that can have such a huge impact on our environment.

In my spare time I like listening to audio books, I like to draw and do physical sports like bouldering or basketball.

Silvan Häseli Advertising
Industrial Design Team

Introduced into this project by Manuel, I firmly believe that the agriculture of tomorrow must become autonomous and easier to supervise by our farmers, in order for the farming to become sustainable.

The interdisciplinary work on this project allows us to improve in a variety of ways outside of the usual bachelor experience and offers a great view in the corporate field.

As Part of the design team I work in order to communicate our project visually and help developing the project and the robot in order for it to shape the agriculture of our future.


Rowesys is supervised and supported by a group of eight amazing coaches at ETH Zurich! Each member contributes his/her unique expertise and know-how to the project.

Prof. Dr. Marco Hutter | Professor and Lead at RSL

Eris Dhionis Sako | Coach

Malin Siegwart | Coach

Giorgio Valsecchi | Coach

Giuseppe Rizzi | Coach

Lukas Schaupp | Coach

Konrad Meyer | Infrastructure

Maria Trodella | Administration


Prof. Dr. Achim Walter

Dr. Simone Nanzer

Hansueli Zellweger

Dr. Andreas Hund

Brigitta Herzog

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