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Institute News

From picking up a cube to writing with a pen – learning dexterous manipulation skills on real-world robotic systems

  • 28 July 2020

MPI-IS in Tübingen is hosting a challenge that aims to advance the state of the art in robotic manipulation and make the field more accessible to a greater number of researchers

From August 3, researchers around the world are invited to take part in a challenge where each team can run its algorithm on standardized robotic platforms. The tasks range from manipulating a cube to writing with a pen. Participants can advance research, demonstrate that their algorithm works best not only in simulation but also on a real-world task, and win prizes.

Stefan Bauer Manuel Wüthrich Bernhard Schölkopf Felix Widmaier Linda Behringer Vaibhav Agrawal Ossama Ahmed Ann-Sophie Bähr Annika Buchholz Lieya Duong Jonathan Fiene Walter Gasparetto Anirudh Goyal Felix Grimminger Felix Grüninger Bilal Hammoud Shruti Joshi Georg Martius Heiko Ott Ludovic Righetti Sebastian Stark Naomi Tashiro Frederik Träuble Ruben Werbke Jonathan Williams


Self-healing soft material outsmarts nature

  • 27 July 2020

A soft material that heals itself instantaneously is now reality. A team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and at Pennsylvania State University tune the nanostructure of a new stretchable material in such a way that it now entirely recovers its structure and properties at the blink of an eye after being cut or poked. The squid-inspired material could revolutionize the research field of soft robotics. Since it can reverse any undergone damage, it makes many real-world applications possible in which robots have to deal with dynamic and unpredictable environments.

Abdon Pena-Francesch Metin Sitti Linda Behringer


Hakan Ceylan wins the 2020 Günter Petzow Prize

  • 24 July 2020

The senior research scientist in the Physical Intelligence Department received the award during the virtual 2020 Intelligent Systems Summer Colloquium

Hakan Ceylan Katherine J. Kuchenbecker Metin Sitti Linda Behringer


Mike Prentice joined our lab!

  • 19 July 2020

Welcome to the Rationality Enhancement Group!

Despite all the Covid-19 obstacles, Mike is finally officially joining the RE group!

Mike Prentice


Sebastian Trimpe appointed full professor at RWTH Aachen University

  • 10 July 2020

The Cyber Valley research group leader has taken on the “Data Science in Mechanical Engineering” chair

Sebastian Trimpe Linda Behringer


MaxPlanckForschung reports on our work and the acoustic hologram

  • 09 July 2020

Winzige Teilchen mithilfe von Ultraschall zu manipulieren oder gar zu beliebigen Mustern zu arrangieren, das gelingt mit der Methode der akustischen Holografie. Forscher um Peer Fischer vom Stuttgarter Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme haben diese Technik erfunden. Nun arbeiten die Physiker schon an deren Anwendung in der Medizin.

Kai Melde Zhichao Ma Peer Fischer


MLSS 2020 Tübingen: the first-ever virtual event starts with a bang

  • 06 July 2020

Participants from 39 countries on five continents are attending the online event.

With lectures, round table discussions, and social events, several of the world's top machine learning scientists are interacting with promising young researchers at the Machine Learning Summer School

Bernhard Schölkopf Mijung Park Georgios Arvanitidis Valerie Callaghan


Video: Microrobots roll against blood flow to deliver drugs

  • 02 July 2020

With the help of magnetic fields, the bots might one day navigate the circulatory system to target tumors

Drug-carrying microrobots offer a way to deliver treatments straight to where they are needed, such as tumors deep within the body. But most bots designed in labs have so far been limited to easy-to-reach targets such as the gut. Now, researchers have developed drug-delivering “microrollers” that can move against blood flow (Sci. Robot. 2020, DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aba5726). With the help of a magnetic field, these two-faced particles might one day navigate our circulatory system to deliver treatments to tumors. The microrollers are coated on one side with magnetic materials and on the other with antibodies specific to cancer cells. These antibodies would help the particles selectively bind to tumors in the body, where they could release their payload. This targeted approach could minimize exposure of healthy cells to cancer drugs, reducing side effects.

Yunus Alapan Ugur Bozuyuk Metin Sitti


Maryam Elenguebawy joined our lab!

  • 01 July 2020

Welcome, Maryam!

Originally from Egypt, Maryam studies Cognitive Science at the University of Osnabrueck. She joined the Rationality Enhancement Group on July 1 as a student assistant. She is interested in Neuroscience and Human-Computer Interaction (usability experience).

Maryam Elenguebawy


The Max Planck ETH Center for Learning Systems: The greatest success would be...

  • 23 June 2020

...if the centre were to be absorbed into something bigger, says ETH Professor Thomas Hofmann. The Max Planck ETH Center for Learning Systems (CLS) is the first joint research centre between ETH Zurich and the German Max Planck Society (MPG). In May 2020, it celebrated its fifth anniversary and was extended for another five years. In this interview, the centre’s co-director Hofmann takes stock, looks to the future and explains why the topic of artificial intelligence requires thinking beyond national borders.