Prof. Dr. Sami Haddadin
at Technical University of Munich
Sami Haddadin is Professor and Chair of Robotics and Systems Intelligence at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the founding and executive director of the Munich Institute of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MIRMI). Professor Haddadin conducts research in the fields of robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and human neuroscience. His robot developments range from manipulators, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or mobile systems to humanoids, intelligent prosthetics, and exoskeletons. A strong overarching focus of his work lies in the interface between the development of intelligent machines and the basic principles of the human body and its functionality. Their understanding is key to the development of autonomously interacting machines that will support humans in the future in key areas such as work, health, mobility, environment, or space. Before joining TUM, Sami Haddadin was Professor and Chair of Automatic Control at Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover from 2014 to 2018 and received faculty offers from MIT and Stanford. Prior to that, he held various positions as a researcher at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). He has published more than 200 scientific articles in international journals and conferences, many of them award-winning. He has received numerous awards for his scientific work, including the George Giralt Ph.D. Award (2012), the RSS Early Career Spotlight (2015), the IEEE/RAS Early Career Award (2015), the Alfried Krupp Award for Young Professors (2015), the German President’s Award for Innovation in Science and Technology (2017) and the Leibniz Prize (2019). His research led to numerous commercializations and real-world uses in industry, healthcare, and consumer markets. He is the founder of Franka Emika GmbH (Munich, 2016), whose revolutionary robots were featured on the covers of TIME magazine (Best Inventions of 2018) and National Geographic (Meet the Robots). He played a key role in the development of the lightweight robot technology, which became the LBR iiwa in the technology transfer to KUKA AG. His algorithms found their way e.g. into the drones of Skydio Inc. or the intelligent rehabilitation robots of Reactive Robotics. In 2015, his patent on “Tactile Robots” was listed as the most recent addition to the “Milestone made in Germany” (DPMA) list, 26 years after the invention of mp3. He is a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the national academy of science and engineering acatech. He was a member of the High-Level Expert Group on AI of the European Commission and is the chairman of the Bavarian AI Council. Sami’s work is regularly exhibited in renowned science and art museums, including Deutsches Museum and Pinakothek der Moderne. For the latter, he was invited to continue the series of contemporary design positions in the Paternoster Hall to which international protagonists of design are invited every year.