Seminar: Humanoid Robotics

Quick Facts

Lecturer:Oleg Arenz
Meetings:Over Zoom
TUCaN:20-00-1125-se Humanoid Robotics
Presentation of Topics:20.10.2023 10:00 (slides)
Deadline for Topic Preferences:23.10.2023 23:59
Topic Assignment:27.10.2023 23:59
Deadline for Report:08.03.2024 23:59
Deadline for Poster:15.03.2024 10:00 (via mail)
Poster Session:15.03.2024 10:00 (in S202|B002)


Robots are on the rise and will increasingly support us during our daily lives. While today's personal robots, such as robotic vacuum cleaners or lawn mowers, rely on a task-specific hardware design, future personal robots will need to be more flexible, so they can assist us with a variety of tasks. In particular, anthropomorphic robots (humanoids), i.e., robots that roughly follow the kinematic structure of humans, are of interest because they will be able to operate in a human environment. However, today's humanoids are not yet viable for personal assistance due to limitations in both hardware (e.g. in terms of robustness, and energy- and cost-efficiency) and software (e.g. in terms of control, reasoning, and the generalizability and transferability of skills). In this seminar, we will discuss the latter problems: You will select one of the many methodological challenges; through a review of the literature, supported by one of our research assistants, you will gain an understanding of the respective state-of-art approaches and their limitations. At the end of the seminar, you will share your acquired knowledge with other students in a peer teaching event (a poster session) and by writing a short article.

Images taken from 1) NASA, 2) J. Englsberger u. a., „Overview of the torque-controlled humanoid robot TORO“, Humanoids 2014. 3) O. Stasse u. a., „TALOS: A new humanoid research platform targeted for industrial applications“, Humanoids. 2017. 4) N. G. Tsagarakis u. a., „WALK-MAN: A High-Performance Humanoid Platform for Realistic Environments“. Journal of Field Robotics, 34(7). 2017.


Possible topics will be presented during our kick-off meeting. However, we encourage you to propose a topic related to the theme of the seminar, that you are particularly interested in. Please send suggestions to

Both more general topics (e.g., review of bipedal locomotion) and more specific topics (e.g., current methods for centroidal trajectory optimization) can be explored. The following is a non-exhaustive list that sketches the scope of this seminar.

  • Bipedal Locomotion
  • Whole-Body Control
  • Sim2Real
  • Manipulation
  • Robot Perception
  • Scene Understanding
  • Trajectory Optimization
  • Human-Humanoid Interactions
  • Learning from Demonstrations
  • Footstep Planning


Concurrent or prior enrollment in the course "Foundations of Robotics" and/or "Robot Learning" is recommended.


During the kick-off meeting (20.10.) our teaching assistants will present topics. Shortly after, you can select topics of interest and get a topic assigned to you. You will regularly meet with your assigned teaching assistant to discuss the literature, striving to either gain expert knowledge in a narrow topic or general knowledge in a broader topic. At the end of the term, you will summarize your findings in an article of 4 to 8 pages. Furthermore, a poster session will be organized where you present your insights to fellow students. The grade is based on the report (75%) and poster (25%).

Topic Assignments

Student NameTopicAdvisorReport
Martina GassenGait EmbeddingsOleg Arenzpdf
Alvin AbduhOptimal reduced-order modeling of bipedal locomotionJunning Huangpdf
Adriaan MulderImitation Learning for Bimanual ManipulationMichael Droletpdf
Henri BeyerControlling Humanoids A Comprehensive Analysis of Teleoperation FrameworksKay Hanselpdf
Lu LiuLearning Natural Locomotion from DemonstrationsMichael Droletpdf
Simon GiegerichBipedal Locomotion for FootballPaul Jansonniepdf
Qiao SunReinforcement Learning for Humanoid LocomotionNico Bohlingerpdf
Joshua JohannsonFrom Pendulum Models to MPC with Centroidal DynamicsOleg Arenzpdf

Schedule for Poster Session

There will be 8 time slots of 10 minutes each. During each slot there will be 4 presenting students and 4 attending students. For the four presentations we will use two smart boards, a PC with Monitor, and a Laptop with projector. When and where to present can be taken from the table below.

Name / Time Slot10:05 - 10:1510:15 - 10:2510:25 - 10:3510:35 - 10:4510:45 - 10:5510:55 - 11:0511:05 - 11:1511:15 - 11:25
Martina Gassensmart (L)smart (L)smart (L)smart (L)    
Alvin Abduhsmart (R)smart (R)smart (R)    smart (R)
Adriaan MulderPCPC    PCPC
Henri BeyerProjector    ProjectorProjectorProjector
Lu Liu    smart (L)smart (L)smart (L)smart (L)
Simon Giegerich   smart (R)smart (R)smart (R)smart (R) 
Qiao Sun  PCPCPCPC  
Joshua Johannson ProjectorProjectorProjectorProjector   


For the report, we recommend the ICRA template.
For the poster, we provide an SVG template (open with Inkscape) as an inspiration.