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Welcome to our research group



Patrick van der Smagt visits RBO

Tuesday, 03. November 2015

Patrick van der Smagt visited our lab and gave us a version of his keynote talk at IROS15 about Variational Deep Neural Networks (networks that output a probability distribution). Really interesting!

RBO participates in the 32th BVL Logistik Kongress

Thursday, 29. October 2015

We were invited to show our winner system of the Amazon Picking Challenge at the 32th BVL Logistik Kongress. Our system raised awareness of the future applications of mobile manipulators in the logistic sector.

RBO hosts a SoMa meeting

Monday, 19. October 2015


We hosted a meeting of the SoMa (Soft Manipulation) European Project. We thank our partners of Uni Pisa and DLR for the fruitful discussions. Next meeting in EuroDisney!

Dario Floreano visits RBO

Wednesday, 21. October 2015

Dario Floreano visited our lab on October 14th to present his work on flying robots. He also joined the SoMa meeting to share knowledge on how to make us of contact with the environment instead of avoiding it, an insight that they also exploit in their research

RBO hand now on PR2

Wednesday, 14. October 2015


There is a new PR2 adapter available to attach the RBO hand! Please, contact Raphael Deimel to obtain the 3D CAD model.

Nick Farrrow and Nikolaus Correll visit RBO

Monday, 01. June 2015

Nick Farrow and Nikolaus Correll from University of Boulder have developed strain sensors which are compatible with PneuFlex actuators. They will stay with us one month to find interesting collaboration projects. We are looking forward to it!

During their stay they work on integrating both technologies to provide a versatile sensor-actuator compound for soft robotic devices such as the soft hands. 

Ron Alterovitz and Chris Bowen visit RBO

Monday, 01. June 2015

Ron Alterovitz and Chris Bowen from the Computational Robotics Group at the University of North Carolina are visiting us. They will stay one month collaborating with RBO.

They are working on demonstration-guided motion planning. Especially they want to find out how to generalize grasp motions learned from human demonstrations.

New members of the RBO team

Monday, 01. June 2015

We welcome the two new members of our team, Jessica and Manuel!

Jessica's research will focus on grasping strategies with soft-hands as part of the SoMa European project. Manuel will be actively involved in the Exploration Challenge, our joint project with University Stuttgart to provide robots with capabilities to explore, understand and exploit kinematic mechanisms in unstructured environments. 

RBO Team wins the Amazon Picking Challenge!

Friday, 29. May 2015


Our Team of the Robotics and Biology Laboratory (RBO) at the Technische Universität Berlin won a highly ranked international robotic challenge yesterday. The "Amazon Picking Challenge", which was organized for the first time this year, is awarded with US$20.000 and 25 teams from Europe, USA and Asia competed for it. The goal of the challenge was to develop a robotic system that autonomously grasps several objects from a shelf. The scenario recreates the process that occurs in an Amazon warehouse when a client buys one or more products. Currently these tasks are supported by robotic shelves which move around autonomously within Amazon's warehouse. 

With a total of 148 points our team RBO was able to secure the lead. The second place went to the team of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with 88 points. Third place was awarded to Team Grizzly of the company Dataspeed, Inc. with 35 points. Among the other participants were top universities like UC Berkeley and Georgia Tech, as well as many robotic companies.

The robot we used for the competition will be shown during this year's Long Night of Sciences on June 13th.

Check out our winning run:
https://youtu.be/UrpMfdj-Mpc (real time)
(sped up 4x)

Great performance of RBO Aleph in CAMEO

Our automated protein structure prediction server RBO Aleph participates in the Continuous Automated Model Evaluation CAMEO. RBO Aleph consistently performed as one of the top servers overall. It performed especially well for hard targets were it is ranked third.

Congratulations to our Computational Biology team!

RBO is getting ready for the Amazon Picking Challenge

Monday, 25. May 2015


Final preparations in Seattle for the Amazon Picking Challenge! Please keep your fingers crossed for us! Our trial will be on Wednesday, 12:40 p.m. local time (9:40 p.m. German time)!

Computational Biology paper accepted in Nucleic Acids Research

Our paper about RBO Aleph, our newest protein structure prediction web server, has been accepted in the web server issue of Nucleic Acids Research. RBO Aleph had emerged as one of the leading ab initio approaches in the last CASP (Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction). Congratulations to our computational biology team!

Link to the paper: 
RBO Aleph: leveraging novel information sources for protein structure prediction
Link to the protein structure prediction web server: 


Friday, 09. January 2015

Our sports team Psycho-Robot-Proteins won the third place in the Instituts-Cup of TU Berlin. Congratulations to Fabian, Guillermo, Janika, Marianne, Michael, and Rico!

Alex Kacelnik visits RBO

Monday, 15. December 2014

On January 7, we are in for a treat. Therefore holds Oliver his hand in the fire. Alex Kacelnik will come by the lab and give a talk at 10. We are looking forward to it! Title of the talk: Spooky problem solving and decision making in birds.

Amazing performance of our CompBio group at CASP11

Wednesday, 03. December 2014

Our RBO_Aleph server was ranked as the No 3 server in Free Modelling and our contact prediction was ranked No 1 for long+medium range contacts in the automatic evaluation for CASP 11. These are amazing results for our computational biology team! Congratulations!

RBO is invited to give a talk at CASP11 conference

Monday, 24. November 2014

We have been invited to give a talk at the CASP (Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction) conference on the performance of our RBO_Aleph server, which performed among the top groups in the CASP11 experiment in the free modeling category. These amazing results are fruits of the team efforts of our computational biologists. Congratulations Michael, Ines, Tim and Mahmoud! 

Oliver Kroemer visits RBO

Tuesday, 04. November 2014

Oliver Kroemer from Jan Peters group will come by on November 26 to present his thesis work during the RBO meeting (10 am). Mark your calendars! 

Ivana Kruijff-Korbayova visits RBO

Thursday, 23. October 2014

On November 5 during the RBO meeting (10:00) Ivana Kruijff-Korbayova will give a presentation about "Human-Robot cooperation in disaster-response scenarios". Ivana coordinates two European projects: NIFTi and TRADR and her research interests cover different aspects of computational linguistics.

RBO paper on Computational Biology accepted in PLOS ONE

Monday, 04. August 2014

Michael's paper "Combining Physicochemical and Evolutionary Information for Protein Contact Prediction" got published in PLOS ONE. Congratulations!

Raphael Deimel wins Best Student Paper award at RSS 2014!

Thursday, 17. July 2014

Raphael's paper "A New Type of Compliant, Underactuated Robotic Hand for Dexterous Grasping" wins the Best Student Paper award at RSS! Congratulations!

Toby Walsh visits RBO

Wednesday, 09. July 2014

Another great talk is coming our way! Toby Walsh is one of the main players in AI. Please mark your calendars, July 23, 10 am, MAR 5.006!

Jeannette Bohg visits RBO

Monday, 23. June 2014

Jeannette Bohg will be visiting our lab on Friday (June 27). She will give a talk at 14:30 in MAR 5.006 about her research on perception for grasping. Do not miss it!

Jonas Buchli visits RBO

Monday, 16. June 2014

We are happy to announce that Prof. Jonas Buchli will visit our lab next Friday (June 20). He will give a talk about ML for walking and agile robots at 10 am in MAR 5.006. It promises to be interesting!

Dieter Fox visits RBO

Thursday, 01. May 2014

Great news! Prof. Dieter Fox will be visiting our lab next Friday (May 16). He will give a talk about RGB-D sensors in robotics perception at 10 am in MAR 5.006. We are looking forward to it!

Four papers accepted at IROS14

Monday, 19. May 2014

Three RBO papers and one MLR-Stuttgart paper in collaboration with RBO were accepted at the next IROS14. Congratulations Malte+Sebastian, Stefan (MLR)+Johannes (MLR), and Roberto!

Two RBO papers accepted at RSS14

Monday, 12. May 2014

Two RBO papers will be presented at the upcoming RSS14. Congratulations Raphael and Rico!

Presentation at ICRA14 Workshop on Visual Search

Wednesday, 12. February 2014

Sebastian will present our IROS2014 paper "Prior-Assisted Propagation of Spatial Information for Object Search" at the ICRA workshop "Robots in Homes and Industry: Where to look first".

Two RBO papers accepted at ICRA14

Wednesday, 15. January 2014

Two RBO papers will be presented at ICRA14: "Sensor-Based, Task-Constrained Motion Generation Under Uncertainty" and "Extracting Kinematic Background Knowledge from Interactions Using Task-Sensitive Relational Learning". Congratulations Arne+Nico, and Sebastian+Tobias!

And we learned one lesson: check the version of the document you submit. And if you already checked it, check it again! :)

ISRR2013 Invited Submission Confirmation

Tuesday, 03. December 2013

Oliver will present our paper  "Exploitation of Environmental Constraints in Human and Robotic Grasping" at the upcoming ISRR in Singapore!

First-MM project finished successfully!

Tuesday, 03. December 2013

After three and a half year of work, the European FP7 project First-MM was finished successfully. RBO's part in the project was researching motion generation methods for mobile manipulators. We also implemented the motion planning algorithms that were used in the final presentation last week. In the final demo a mobile manipulator successfully detected, classified and grasped bottles from shelves only using on-board sensors.

More info and videos here:

SCIoI Master Track

Friday, 20. May 2011

Understanding intelligence is one of the great scientific challenges of our time. Yet, in spite of extensive research efforts spanning many scientific disciplines, our understanding of intelligence remains fragmented and incomplete. Science of Intelligence (SCIoI) is a transdisciplinary research approach. Researchers from FU, HU, and TU Berlin work together in order to obtain a better understanding of intelligence. Their cooperation in the central fields of thinking, learning, and perception offers an interdisciplinary environment to students. The SCIoI Master Track is transmitting basic knowledge about potential future-oriented technologies very much appreciated both by industry and academia.


New job opening topic: motion generation for mobile manipulation
Robotics and Computational Biology.

Zusatzinformationen / Extras

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Professor Dr. Oliver Brock

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Janika Urig
Tel. +49 30 314-73 110
Fax +49 30 314-21 116
Room MAR 5.032

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Click here for youtube