This award is considered one of the highest honors for robotics researchers under 40. The prize is awarded for outstanding achievements in in the field of robotics by the Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Jan Peters is being honored for the development of new approaches to robot learning, robot architecture and robotic methods and their applications for humanoid robots.
Autonomous robots that can assist humans in situations of daily life have been a long standing vision of robotics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive sciences. A first step towards this goal is to create robots that can learn a multitude of different tasks, triggered by environmental context or higher level instruction. Achieving this goal requires the development of novel machine learning methods for model acquisition, imitation and reinforcement learning that scale into the domain of humanoid robotics. In order to achieve this goal, we also rely both on the proper evaluation of robot skill execution from a traditional control perspective as well as on insights into analytical mechanics and human motor control.
Jan Peters, born in 1976, was trained in parallel as a computer scientist and as an engineer, having received both the German ?Diplom? and Master degrees in these fields. From 1996 to 2001, he studied engineering at the Technical University of Munich and at the same time computer science at the University of Hagen. Between 2001 and 2007 he graduated from the University of Southern California with a M.Sc. in computer science and a M.Sc. in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. In 2007 he defended his dissertation at the Univ. of Southern California on the theme: ?Machine Learning for Motor Skills in Robotics?. Since 2007, Jan Peters heads the Tübingen Lab for robot learning within the department ?Empirical Inference? lead by Prof. Bernhard Schölkopf. Since 2011, Jan Peters is full professor at the Technical University of Darmstadt.
The IEEE Early Career Award will be awarded at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in Karlsruhe on May 09, 2013. Additionally, Cyril Stachniss of the University of Freiburg will also receive this prestigious award for young researchers in robotics.