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Inhalt des Dokuments

Welcome to our research group



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:

Release of rviz plugin for point cloud selection

Monday, 25. November 2013

We released a small but useful tool for facilitating point cloud segmentation or annotation in rviz. The tool publishes a selection of point to a fixed topic. If you want to try it check out our ros package repository. It works with ROS groovy & hydro. (Thanks to Philipp for coding the tool!)

"Killer robots" reach quarter finals at kicker tournament

Friday, 22. November 2013

Congratulations to Rico and Sebastian! The two "killer robots" reached the round of the best 8 (out of 48) teams at this year's kicker (foosball) tournament of the Freitagsrunde. Fantastic!

New version of the RBO hand

Tuesday, 12. November 2013


Raphael developed the prototype of a new RBO hand for our robots. The name of this new model is Anthrohand and it is inspired by one of the most dexterous tools in nature, the human hand! We are looking forward to seeing it in action!

Youtube video

New member of RBO

Monday, 11. November 2013

Tim Werner is our new member of the RBO team. He will work as postdoc in Computational Biology. Welcome!!

Winter Semester begins

Wednesday, 23. October 2013

The semester break is over and we are starting our robotics course, robotics project and computational biology course. For the robotics course we have a new record: 80 students enrolled this semester!

Baxter Robot with RBO PneuFlex Hand

Wednesday, 23. October 2013


Researchers at WPI created a soft hand for their Baxter Robot using the PneuFlex actuator design developed by the RBO Lab.

Youtube video

New Videos of Sensor-Based Motion Generation @ RBO

Wednesday, 23. October 2013

We think autonomous robots should navigate in unstructured environments using sensor data instead of complex models of the environment. Check out the new videos of motion generation based on sensor data @ RBO!

Demo video

Simulation video

Paper accepted at IROS13

Wednesday, 23. October 2013

Our IROS13 paper has been accepted. Congratulations Clemens!

Grasping Unknown Objects by Exploiting Shape Adaptability and Environmental Constraints

Tutorial for making PneuFlex actuators

Tuesday, 05. March 2013


We're happy to announce you a freely available tutorial and video on how to make your very own PneuFlex actuators. And to celebrate, we are also giving away demo kits to other labs!

Tutorial video

Written tutorial

Free demo kit contest

Make a KUKA Youbot follow you around

Monday, 04. March 2013

A team of students implemented controllers for making our KUKA YouBot follow visual targets by using all eight available degrees of actuation.

Here you can watch the YouBot tracking the blue circle like a dog would a treat!

Change of address!

Monday, 25. February 2013

We are about to move. Our new address is:

TU Berlin
Robotics and Biology Laboratory
MAR 5-1
Marchstr. 23
10587 Berlin

The office is in room 5.032.

RSS submissions accepted

Monday, 26. May 2014

Two RBO papers will be presented at the upcoming RSS'14. Congratulations Raphael and Rico!

Selected Poster Award on CASP 10 Meeting

Tuesday, 11. December 2012

Exciting news! Our poster "Going Beyond Fragments - Using Building Blocks to Guide Protein Structure Prediction" has been selected by David Baker, Nick Grishin and David Jones for a poster talk together with three other posters on the CASP 10 meeting in Gaeta, Italy. We are very happy that our approaches got the attention of the top researches in the field. We enjoyed the lively discussions about our ideas as well as other approaches a lot and are eager to further work on our methods when we are back in Berlin.

Here you can download our two posters that we presented on the CASP 10 meeting:

CASP 10 results are published

Thursday, 6. December 2012

From May 2012 to August 2012 the Robotics and Biology Lab participated in the 10th Critical Assessment of Protein Structure Prediction (CASP). During this period the CASP organizers released a new protein target sequence every two days for which the structure was unknown. Each participating group had to predict the structure for this sequence completely blind. As such, the experiment provides a basis for objective comparison of prediction algorithms and methods. On Dec, 5th 2012, the CASP assessors published the results of CASP 10. They evaluated for each prediction how close it is to the experimentally determined native structure based on several measures. Despite their early stage of development, all our servers (RBO-MBS, RBO-i-MBS, RBO-MBS-BB, RBO-i-MBS-BB in structure prediction category and RBO-CON in contact prediction category) performed as expected and we are very excited that our server RBO-i-MBS ranked on position 19 among all servers (68) based on the best out of five predictions for hard targets (FM-targets). We are currently analyzing the results of all our servers to prepare posters for the coming CASP meeting, which takes place from 9th to 12th of December in Gaeta, Italy. You will find a more detailed description of the algorithms running on our servers in the CASP abstracts.

Robotics: Science and Systems 2013 @ TU-Berlin

Monday, 03. September 2012

We are very excited to bring Robotics: Science and Systems 2013, arguably the top conference in robotics, to Berlin next year!  RSS '13 will take place June 24-28 2013 at TU Berlin. We look forward to welcoming the world's roboticist to our city, our university, and to our lab!


ROS Release of Interactive Perception Framework

Monday, 03. September 2012

We are proud to announce that we have made an open source release of our Interactive Perception Framework to the ROS (Robotics Operating Framework) community!

Find out more: http://www.ros.org/wiki/iap

RBO enters CASP10

Wednesday, 02. May 2012

We are happy to announce that the Robotics and Biology Laboratory participates at the 10th Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction (CASP). In this experiment, computational group have the opportunity to challenge their ideas and algorithms to predict protein structures, only by their sequence. These structures are not yet published or can be found in any public database. Thus, the predictions in this experiment are real predictions (instead of post-dictions that are used to benchmark algorithms).

Our lab participates with a total of 5 prediction methods to challenge different methods that have been developed over the last 2 years. We are excited to see how they perform in the experiment.


Thursday, 05. April 2012


Today, 26 additional nodes for our IBM-Cluster iDataplex have been installed and activated. Our department operates now a cluster with 112 nodes in total consisting of IBM System x iDataPlex dx360 M2 and M3 servers with two Intel Xeon Quadcore-CPUs each.


Our cluster participates in the current competition of CASP.

see: http://www.predictioncenter.org/casp10/index.cgi

Soft Hands

Monday, 26. March 2012


The Robotics and Biology Lab is expanding its hardware capabilities with a promising technology from Soft Robotics. It is now set up to create elastic robotic manipulators that are made of rubber, and are actuated by compressed air. This latest addition to its tool set will enable the lab to explore and understand grasping synergies, as well as create compliant manipulators that are compatible with grabbing affordances of everyday things intended for human hands.

Here, you can have a look at our very first prototypes for evaluating the production setup.

March 26, 2012

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.


The first seminar series of imi-berlin (interaction, modeling, intelligence: www.imi-berlin.org) has started.

The regular biweekly meetings take place on Monday, 4 pm, room EN 189, and serve as a platform for an informal exchange and discussions between school of EECS members.

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

Zusatzinformationen / Extras

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Professor Dr. Oliver Brock

Office hours
Friday 10-12,
please make an


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

Office hours
Mon-Fri, 10:00-12:00pm
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TU Berlin
Fakultät IV, MAR 5-1
Marchstraße 23
10587 Berlin

Click here for youtube