Research Statement
Integrating highly complex robots in daily life requires them to become more independent of preprogrammed behaviors and exception handling. As biological research has shown different complex movements are actually a result of the combination of simple motor primitives. This concept is also successfully applied to robotics but there remains still a lot of research to be done in order to make the current formulations more versatile. In nature as in robotics tasks are often learned by observation and imitation. In many cases the imitation is imperfect and has to be improved. Reinforcement Learning is a natural choice for this step.

Current Position
Assistant Professor
Delft Center for Systems and Control, TU Delft, The Netherlands

Educational Background
2008-2012Ph.D. Student
 supervised by Jan Peters
 Dept. Empirical Inference (Dept. Head: Bernhard Schölkopf), Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen, Germany
2007-2008Diplomarbeit (Master's thesis)
 supervised by Jan Peters
 Dept. Empirical Inference (Dept. Head: Bernhard Schölkopf), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany
 Thesis Title: Reinforcement Learning for Motor Primitives in Robotics
 Thesis Topics:
 - reinforcement learning to enhance motor primitives acquired by imitation learning
 - reinforcement learning for perceptual coupling
 - application of reinforcement learning on a Barrett WAM robot arm
2006-2008Diplom-Ingenieur in Engineering Cybernetics (German M.Sc. majoring in automation & control)
 University of Stuttgart, Germany
2004-2006Centralien (French engineering degree with an integrated multidisciplinary approach)
 Ecole Centrale Paris (double degree program T.I.M.E.), France
2002-2004Vordiplom in Engineering Cybernetics
 University of Stuttgart, Germany
2001Abitur
 Schlossgymnasium Künzelsau, Germany
1999High School Diploma
 Tulelake, CA, USA
 
Research Positions
2015-presentAssistant Professor
 Delft Center for Systems and Control, TU Delft, The Netherlands
2012-2014PostDoc
 CoR-Lab, Universität Bielefeld / Honda Research Institute Europe, Germany
2011Summer Intern
 Disney Research Pittsburgh (Host: Michael Mistry, Head: Jessica Hodgins), USA
2009Visiting Researcher
 Department of Communication and Cognitive Cybernetics (Host: Erhan Oztop, Head: Mitsuo Kawato), Advanced Telecommunication Research Center (ATR), Kyoto, Japan
2005-2006Student Researcher
 Project Quadricopt�re: hardware in the loop for a mini-drone
 Ecole Centrale Paris & Ecole des Mines, France
2003-2004Student Researcher
 Lehrstuhl f�r Bauphysik, University of Stuttgart, Germany
 
Teaching (outdated)
2011-2012Teaching Assistant, Projektpraktikum: Lernende Roboter
 Intelligent Autonomous Systems, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
2008Lab Assistant, Graduate course: Praktikum Regelungstechnik I
 Institute for Systems Theory and Automatic Control (IST), University of Stuttgart, Germany
 
Work Experience (outdated)
2006Internship at Onboard-Controls
 A�rodrome de Blois le Breuil, France
2005Internship at Ing�nieurs Sans Fronti�res / SOS Sahel
 Bamako & Sanankoroba, Mali
2005Part-time work at Aviation sans Fronti�res
 Paris, France
2001-2002Civil Service at Kivuli Centre
 Nairobi, Kenya
 
Invited talks at Labs (outdated)
07/07/2011Invited talk Reinforcement Learning of Motor Primitives for Robotics at the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh, USA, Host: Chris Atkeson
15/01/2010Invited talk Learning Motor Primitives for Robotics at the EVENT Lab, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain, Seminar: Reinforcement learning in Robotics and Virtual Reality, Host: Jason Kastanis
11/06/2009Invited talk Learning Motor Primitives for Robotics at the Computational Neuroscience Laboratories (CNS), Advanced Telecommunications Research Center (ATR), Kyoto, Japan, Host: Erhan Oztop
 
Oral Conference and Workshop Presentations (outdated)
04/05/2010Conference presentation Movement Templates for Learning of Hitting and Batting at IEEE Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
03/12/2009Conference presentation Learning new basic Movements for Robotics at Fachgespr�ch Autonome Mobile Systeme (AMS).
10/09/2009Forum presentation Policy Search for Motor Primitives at Young Researcher's Forum: Annual Symposium of the German Association for Pattern Recognition (DAGM).
15/05/2009Conference presentation Learning Motor Primitives for Robotics at IEEE Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA).
01/04/2009Conference presentation Using Reward-Weighted Imitation for Robot Reinforcement Learning at the IEEE International Symposium on Approximate Dynamic Programming and Reinforcement Learning (ADPRL).
09/12/2008Conference presentation Policy Search for Motor Primitives in Robotics at Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS).
23/09/2008Conference presentation Learning Perceptual Coupling for Motor Primitives at IEEE/RSJ Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS).
15/05/2008Workshop presentation Reinforcement Learning of Perceptual Coupling for Motor Primitives at the European Workshop on Reinforcement Learning (EWRL).
 
Awards and Honors (outdated)
2001-2012e-fellows.net scholarship.
2008Travel Award for Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS).
2008Travel Grant for the European Workshop on Reinforcement Learning (EWRL).
2006TIME scholarship.
2000Bundeswettbewerb Mathematik 1st round, 3rd place (German National Math Competition)
1998Landeswettbewerb Mathematik Baden-W�rttemberg 1st place (Federal State Math Competition)
1997Landeswettbewerb Mathematik Baden-W�rttemberg 2nd place (Federal State Math Competition)
 
Paper Reviewing (outdated)
2011IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO)
 International Journal of Robotics Research (IJRR)
IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2012)
Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS)
International Conference on Robotic Systems (IROS)
International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids)
IEEE Conference on Decision and Control and European Control Conference (CDC-ECC)
 
2010IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO)
 Robotics: Science and Systems Conference (R:SS)
IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2011)
Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS)
International Conference on Robotic Systems (IROS)
International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids)
Annual German Conference on Artificial Intelligence (KI)
 
2009Autonomous Robots Journal
 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2010)
Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS)
 
2008IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO)
 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2009)
Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS)
International Conference on Robotic Systems (IROS)
IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN)
 
References, etc.
References are available upon request.

  

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