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04/16: With the end of funding of SPENCER, the Social Robotics Lab has been shut down. This website will still remain online for a few years. Kai is now with Bosch Corporate Research, Renningen.

03/16: Lots of news coverage and a very successful final demonstration of our EU project SPENCER at Amsterdam-Schiphol airport.

10/15: Very interactive and fruitful workshop 'Social Norms in Robotics and HRI' at IROS 2015.

07/15: Successful second-year reviews of our EU-project SPENCER

04/15: Acceptance of our workshop proposal 'Social Norms in Robotics and HRI' at IROS 2015.

10/14: Four awesome papers submitted to ICRA 2015. Let's cross fingers.

08/14: Received very good first-year reviews of our EU-project SPENCER

10/13: We offer a new Bs/Ms course "Human-Oriented Robotics" (course homepage)

09/13: Kai joins the HRI steering committee

12/13: Matthias Luber (very) successfully finishes his doctoral thesis.

05/13: Our RSS 2013 paper nominated for best student paper award!

04/13: Kick-off of our EU project SPENCER

03/13: All open positions have been filled. We say hello to Timm, Billy, and Luigi!

08/12: We have several open PhD positions and an open Post-Doc position! See job descriptions.

07/12: Bingo! Our Call 9 proposal SPENCER that we are coordinating has been accepted. The call's acceptance rate was 9%!

07/12: Our IROS 2012 paper and two papers for RO-MAN 2012 have been accepted.

04/12: We have submitted two proposals to the EU FP7-ICT-Call 9, one as a coordinator.

04/12: Dizan Vasquez joins the lab as a post-doctoral research associate. Hola!

04/12: The extension proposal of our DFG Junior Research Group Leader grant got accepted!

03/12: Kai joins the 2012 PCs of RSS, ECCV, ISER, ICSR, AAAI SA, of two workshops at RSS and IROS and serves as AE for IROS'12

07/11: 3 out of 3 IROS'11 submissions have been accepted! This year with a below-30% acceptance rate.

06/11: Our mobile robot platform DARYL finally arrived!

More news...

We make robots socially more compatible

Intelligent systems are radically altering the way information and services are offered to people. Our research is mainly concerned with analyzing and shaping this change. We are interested in machines that share physical, social and emotional spaces with humans, in particular by considering intelligent robotic systems in human environments. Our work can be located in the intersection of robotics, artificial intelligence, computer vision, machine learning, human-robot interaction, and cognitive science. We are interested in acquiring rich models of human attributes and behaviors -- either learned from data or derived from empirical research -- and incorporating them at all levels from perception, cognition to action.

To this end, our research is divided into three areas.

  • Perception of humans. We develop theory and algorithms for robots to perceive and understand their social environment. This includes methods to robustly detect and track people and groups of people, their attributes, activities, social relations, social hierarchies and social rules.
  • Planning among humans. We work on methods and techniques to incorporate learned models of human social behavior into motion and task planning in order to generate human-aware actions that comply with the full spectrum of low-level kinodynamic constraints to high-level social rules.
  • Interaction with humans. We develop theory, systems and experiments to study and understand human-robot relationships and derive interaction designs for robots that trade off short-term excitement and fun with sustainability and trust in long-term human-robot relationships.