Research Statement
New areas such as humanoid and service robotics require that modern robots need to act in unstructured environments where the robot system needs to be capable of adapting to its surroundings. As a result, methods from machine learning will increasingly be needed in order to create more autonomous robots. My research centers around robot learning approaches for the physical interactions with objects. Here, grasping and manipulation of unmodeled, novel objects remains one of the key problems in order to bring robots into human-inhabited environments. In order to find suitable solutions to such manipulation problems, we develop domain-oriented machine learning approaches. These include active learning of vision-based grasping, reinforcement learning for preshaping of grasping movements as well as learning long-term plans for object manipulation.

Current Position
Ph.D. student with scholarship at Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
Topic: Learning Grasping and Manipulation for Robotics
Supervisor: Dr. Jan Peters
Dept.: Empirical Inference and Machine Learning (Dept.Head: Bernhard Schölkopf)

Educational Background
2008-nowPh.D. Student
 supervised by Dr. Jan Peters
 Dept. Empirical Inference (Dept.Head: Bernhard Schölkopf), Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany
2007-2008Master's thesis
 supervised by Prof. Daniel Wolpert
 Dept. Engineering at Cambridge University
 Thesis Title: Design and Implementation of a One Degree-of-Freedom Robotic Elbow Orthosis
2004-2008M.Eng. and B.A. in Engineering
 Cambridge University, England
 
Internships
2008Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
 System Integration of a Robot Hand-Eye System
 Empirical Inference and Machine Learning Department
 Supervisor: Dr. Jan Peters
2007Oceaneering Norway
 Electronics and MIMIC Simulation
 Supervisor: Jan Inge
2006Cambridge University Engineering Department
 Undergraduate Research Oppurtunity Placement (U.R.O.P.) in Sensorimotor Control Group
 Supervisor: Prof. Daniel Wolpert
 
Awards and Honors
2008Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers Award
 Group F Thesis Presentation Award
 Trinity College Tripos Award
2007Trinity College Tripos Award
2006Senior Scholar and Trinity College Tripos Award
2005Junior Scholar and Trinity College Tripos Award
2004Undergraduate European Student Scholarship Trinity College
 Undergraduate Scholarship of I.Mech.E. (Institution of Mechanical Engineers, UK)
 E.C.I.S. (European Council of International Schools) UK Award
 
Paper Reviewing
2009Autonomous Robots Journal
2008IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2009)
 
References, etc.
References are available upon request.

  

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