Master Thesis/Student Assistent: using tactile sensor data


Why are robotic hands so clumsy?  In an attempt to solve this problem, we investigate the use of tactile sensors for robotic in-hand manipulation. In particular, based on a number of tactile sensors (the BioTac; the DLR tactile sensor; and the iCub tactile sensor), we want to create algorithms that can use such sensing to manipulate objects.  In cleartext: write, unscrew a bulb, or hand over a knife with a robotic hand.

Your task

We have previously built a test setup with which tactile data can be measured.  You can use this setup but have to extend it to fit your experiments.  There are two experiments that have to be done:

  1. measure curvature from a tactile sensor;
  2. measure/predict slip when sliding over an object.

We are looking for one student for each task; ideally, the two students can cooperate in adapting and using the test bed.  In your thesis, you will have to do both practical work (i.e., work with an existing test setup) and programming (i.e., develop the algorithms for data analysis).

You will be working at TUM (Stammgelände).  Knowledge of machine learning methods, e.g. from following our ML1 course, are required.  Programming experience in Python or Matlab expected.

application procedure

To apply, please email us with the following information:

  • a letter of interest, including your prospective period of stay (note we normally do not accept students for less than 5 months)
  • a CV
  • a list of courses followed and grades
  • names of references, where applicable
  • reprints of articles or theses, where applicable

Please email all files as PDF to:


Picture of  Patrick van der Smagt

Patrick van der Smagt

current: Head of AI Research, data lab, VW Group

Previous: Director of BRML labs
fortiss, An-Institut der Technischen Universität München
Professor for Biomimetic Robotics and Machine Learning, TUM

Chairman of Assistenzrobotik e.V.

We have somewhat different guidelines as to what a Master's thesis at BRML should look like. Please look at this piece of advise.