Mission & Goals

It is commonly agreed that Robotics is one of the emerging technologies, where continued innovation driven by on-going research activities will be instrumental for the future prosperity of our industry and hence of our nation. It is also expected that Robotics will provide technological means to tackle major challenges that our society faces - the aging society with all its consequences for health care and assisted living is one prominent example. In consequence, the seamless interaction between humans and machines will be a key to success. Similarly, the autonomy of technical systems (cars, transportation systems, assistive robots for the elderly, energy production and distribution, etc.) will prove to be an essential capability to solve problems and address challenges we are facing in the future.

The entire field of Robotics is by its very nature a scientific and technical domain where progress is fostered by interdisciplinary research and scientific cooperation. Its progress is furthermore characterized by the close collaboration of scientists and engineers. The goal of this CoC is to provide a framework to facilitate this kind of interdisciplinary collaborative work, where scientists of diverse fields such as Computer Science, Mathematics or Psychology are interacting with engineers of all types, notably with Electrical Engineers.

  1. Bundle expertise on methodological foundations and technologies to achieve long-term autonomous and interactive behavior in robotic systems.
  2. Achieve innovation beyond boundaries of traditional disciplines, bring interdisciplinary research from cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience and computer science / engineering methodologies.
  3. Take on challenges in the realization of truly integrated autonomous robotic systems for the benefit of societal needs.

Core Competencies

Audio-visual signal processing for autonomous and interactive systems; haptics and haptic communication; pattern recognition and information retrieval; probabilistic and adaptive methods for modeling, estimation and control, reasoning and decision making under uncertainty; numerical methods for optimization, data analysis and machine learning; human-machine communication and interaction, social robotics and affective computing; mechatronics and software engineering


Coordinator: Sandra Hirche Information-oriented Control
Second Coordinator: Dongheui Lee Human-centered Assistive Robotics
Martin Buss Automatic Control Engineering
Gordon Cheng Cognitive Systems
Jörg Conradt Neuroscientific System Theory
Klaus Diepold Data Processing
Sami Haddadin Robotics Science and System Intelligence
Wolfgang Kellerer Communication Networks
Gerhard Rigoll Human-Machine Communication
Eckehard Steinbach Media Technology
Dirk Wollherr Automatic Control Engineering


  • Environment and human modeling, perception, and understanding
  • Machine learning, artificial intelligence and cognitive architectures in robotics
  • Neuronal models for sensory perception, reasoning and system control
  • Autonomous robot navigation and manipulation in dynamic environments (dt. Autonome Navigation und Manipulation in dynamischen Umgebungen)
  • Data-driven and model-free control of laser material processing. (deutsch: Datengetriebene und modellfreie Regelung von Prozessen bei der Lasermaterialbearbeitung)
  • Physical human-robot collaboration and intelligent human-in-the-loop systems
  • Social human-robot interaction, emotions and trust
  • Humanoid robotics and embodied intelligence
  • Augmented and virtual multimodal environments
  • Networked and cooperative robotics with distributed information processing and control
  • Intelligent laser material processing



  • Excellence initiative research cluster “Cognition for Technical Systems (CoTeSys)” (2007-2014)
  • Context-sensitive automatic recognition of spontaneous speech with BLSTM networks (Schuller, 2011-2014)
  • VR system for visuo-haptic stimulation during fMRI studies (Peer, 2014-2017)


  • ERC Advanced Grant “Seamless Human-Robot Interaction in Dynamically Changing Environments (SHRINE)” (Buss 2011-2016)
  • ERC Starting Grant “Haptic Signal Processing and Communication (ProHaptics)” (Steinbach, 2012-2015)
  • ERC Starting Grant "Control based on Human Models (con-humo)" (Hirche, 2014-2019)
  • ERC Starting Grant “Intelligent systems’ Holistic Evolving Analysis of Real-life Universal speaker characteristics (iHEARu)” (Schuller, 2014-2019)


  • “BEAMING – Being in Augmented Multimodal Naturally-Networked Gatherings” (Buss/Peer, EU FP7 2010-2014)
  • CCLW – Cloud-based Cognitive Laser Welding (Diepold, Eurostars 2012-2014)
  • "CONTEST-ITN" (Collaborative Network for Training in Electronic Skin Technology) (Cheng, EU FP7, 2012-2015)
  • "Factory-in-a-day" (Cheng EU FP7 2013-2017)
  • “GRIDMAP – from brains to technical implementations” (Conradt, EU FP7 FET 2013-2016), link: http://www.ntnu.edu/kavli/research/gridmap
  • “ICityForAll - Age Sensitive ICT systems for Intelligible City For All“ (Kleinsteuber, EU FP7 2012-2015) link: http://www.icityforall.eu
  • “MOBOT – Intelligent Active Mobility Assistance Robot integrating Multimodal Sensory Processing, Proactive Autonomy and Adaptive Interaction” (Peer/Buss, EU FP7 2013-2016), link: http://www.mobot-project.eu/
  • “ReMeDi – Remote Medical Diagnostian” (Peer/Buss, EU FP7 2013-2016), link: http://www.remedi-project.eu/
  • "SAPHARI - Safe and Autonomous Physical Human-Aware Robot Interaction” (Lee, EU FP7 2012-2016), link: www.saphari.eu
  • “VERE – Virtual Embodiment and Robotik Re-Embodiment” (Buss/Peer, EU FP7, 2010-2015), link: http://www.vereproject.org
  • “WEARHAP - Wearable Haptics for Humans and Robots“ (Hirche, EU FP7 2013-2017), link: www.wearhap.eu
  • "ASC-INCLUSION: Integrated Internet-Based Environment for Social Inclusion of Children with Autism Spectrum Conditions" (Schuller, EU FP7 STREP 2011-2014) link: http://www.asc-inclusion.eu/
  • "HOL-I-WOOD PR - Holonic Integration of Cognition, Communication and Control for a Wood Patching Robot" (Rigoll, EU FP7 STREP 2012-2014) link: http://holiwoodpr.wordpress.com/about/hol-i-wood/ 

BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research)


  • KogniFAS – Kognitive Fahrerassistenzsysteme (Buss/Diepold/Wollherr, 2011 – 2015)