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Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

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The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is a higher education institution and a research centre in Germany, funded by the federal government and the state of Baden-Württemberg. With almost 9,000 employees, 23,000 students, and a total annual budget of about 750 million Euros KIT is a leading university of the State of Baden-Württemberg in science and engineering as well as one of the largest national research centres in the Helmholtz Association. KIT builds on the extensive experience its predecessors, Universität Karlsruhe and Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, have gained in EC-funded research from more than 1000 projects up to now. KIT will take part in the project through the new established chair on Humanoid Robotics Systems, High Performance Humanoid Technologies Lab (H2T), led by Tamim Asfour, H2T has strong expertise in humanoid robotics. Specifically, the group has been working extensively on humanoid robotics towards the implementation of high performance and versatile 24/7 humanoids able to predict, act and interact in the real world and perform a wide variety of tasks.  The major topics of the group include humanoid mechatronics and design, grasping and dexterous manipulation, goal-directed imitation learning, active vision and active touch, multimodal exploration, modelling and analysis of human motion, software and hardware architectures. Currently, the group consist of 12 postdoctoral and PhD researchers. The group was involved successful EU (PACO-PLUS, GRASP, Xperience) and National projects (SFB 588, Autonomous Learning).

Key Personnel: Tamim Asfour, Nikolaus Vahrenkamp

Role of the Partner

KIT will lead the perception, whole body motion planning and whole body affordances. In particular, KIT will contribute to grasping and manipulation based on visuo-haptic sensory information, to the development of the high performance humanoid and to the system integration in the project. Further, the latest version of the KIT humanoid robots ARMAR-IV, a high performance humanoid with 63 torque controlled DoFs will be available from the beginning of the project as experimental platform.

Key Personnel

Tamim Asfour is full professor at the Institute for Anthropomatics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). He is chair of Humanoid Robotics Systems and head of the High Performance Humanoid Technologies Lab (H2T). His major current research interest is high performance 24/7 humanoid robotics. He received his diploma degree in Electrical Engineering and his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Karlsruhe (TH) in 1994 and 2003 respectively. He has been active in the field of Humanoid Robotics for the last 12 years resulting in about 150 peer-reviewed publications with research focus on engineering humanoid robot systems, grasping, imitation learning and control architectures.  He is the developer of the ARMAR humanoid robot family (ARMAR-I, …, ARMAR-4). Tamim Asfour has acted as co-coordinator, scientific coordinator and principal scientist of successful EU (PACO-PLUS, GRASP, Xperience) and National projects (SFB 588, Autonomous Learning). He is European Chair of the IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Humanoid Robots and member the Executive Board of the German Association of Robotics (DGR). He serves on the organizing and program committees of  several  international conferences on robotics, including Humanoids, ICRA, IROS, RSS, RO-MAN and CogSys.

Nikolaus Vahrenkampis postdoctoral researcher at KIT. Heceived his Diploma and Ph.D. from KIT, in 2005 and 2011, respectively. From 2011 to 2012, he was post-doc at the Cognitive Humanoids Lab of the Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department, Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), where he worked on grasp and motion planning for the humanoid robot iCub. Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Anthropomatics at KIT and works on software development, grasping and mobile manipulation for the humanoid robots of the ARMAR family. His research interests include humanoid robots, motion planning, grasping and sensor-based motion execution. 

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