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Dr. Kai Oliver Arras

Autonomous systems and robotics: Enabling technologies for the era of intelligent systems

“Intelligent systems are radically altering the way people live and work. I am interested in analyzing and shaping this change.”
Dr. Kai Oliver Arras, Head of Robotics Research Program and Chief Expert Robotics

In 2015, I started as head of the robotics research program and Chief Expert for robotics. Being on an academic career track, I was attracted to joining Bosch Research by the prospect of combining the advantages of academic and corporate research: I can conduct and publish basic research that extends the state of the art and, at the same time, have societal impact by transferring the results of my research into real products. Prior to joining Bosch, I was assistant professor at the University of Freiburg. I also served as PC member for conferences on robotics (RSS, ISER, ECMR), human-robot interaction (HRI, ICSR, HAI), artificial intelligence (ICAPS, AAAI SA, ECAI), and computer vision (CVPR, ICCV), was Associate Editor of IJSR, ICRA (4x), IROS (3x), and authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications in those areas. I co-organized several workshops and conferences in different roles, was a member of the HRI steering committee and coordinator of EU-FP7 project SPENCER.

Curriculum vitae

  1. Assistant Professor, Computer Science Department, University of Freiburg (Germany)
  2. Junior Research Group Leader, DFG, Founder Social Robotics Laboratory, University of Freiburg (Germany)
  3. Senior Research Scientist, Evolution Robotics, Pasadena, CA (USA)
  4. Post-doctoral Research Associate, Autonomous Intelligent Systems Group, University of Freiburg (Germany)
  5. Managing Director, Nurobot Automation and Artefacts GmbH, Zurich (Switzerland)
  6. Post-doctoral Research Associate, Center for Autonomous Systems, KTH Stockholm (Sweden)
  7. Doctoral degree, Autonomous Systems Lab, EPFL (Switzerland)

Selected publications


A. Rudenko et al. (2018)

Human motion prediction under social grouping constraints
  • A. Rudenko, L. Palmieri, K.O. Arras
  • IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)
  • Best Paper Award on SSRR Nomination

L. Beyer et al. (2018)

Deep person detection in two-dimensional range data
  • L. Beyer, A. Hermans, T. Linder, K.O. Arras, B. Leibe
  • IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters 3(3)

T. Linder et al. (2016)

On multi-modal people tracking from mobile platforms in very crowded and dynamic environments
  • T. Linder, S. Breuers, B. Leibe, K.O. Arras
  • IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)

B. Okal & K.O. Arras (2016)

Learning socially normative robot navigation behaviors with bayesian inverse reinforcement learning
  • IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)

Interview with Dr. Kai Oliver Arras

Dr. Kai Oliver Arras

Head of Robotics Research Program and Chief Expert Robotics

Please tell us what fascinates you most about research.
Exploring and making sense of the unknown, pushing the boundaries of knowledge, making a positive impact on society, working with brilliant people.

What makes research done at Bosch so special?
It allows me to combine the advantages of academic and corporate research: we publish and contribute to the scientific state of the art, work on tough real-world challenges, and transfer our research results into products that bring innovation to hundreds of millions of people.

What research topics are you currently working on at Bosch?
I am heading the robotics research program at Bosch where we work on robotics problems that advance the state of the art and enable new generations of intelligent robotics products. In my own research as Chief Expert Robotics, I am focusing on human-oriented robotics, and together with a team of fantastic colleagues, we are publishing in areas such as person detection and analysis for robots, long-term human motion prediction, or motion planning and control for mobile platforms.

What are the biggest scientific challenges in your field of research?
To enable autonomous systems to become more self-aware and robust, to make them respond more intelligently to never-seen events and to have them learn from experience also through observation of and interaction with humans.

How do the results of your research become part of solutions "Invented for life"?
Bosch products are in surprisingly many places of people's lives: at home, at work, in their cars, their smartphones, or smart buildings. This is a uniquely large setup, ranging from consumer and industrial to automotive sectors, to roll out our research results into new products that will increase people's quality of life, transform mobility, improve resource use or enhance human safety.

Get in touch with me

Dr. Kai Oliver Arras
Head of Robotics Program and Chief Expert Robotics

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