Head of Research Department Systems AI for Robot Learning

Prof. Dr. Jan Peters

  • Address (Darmstadt)

Prof. Dr. Jan Peters


Niklas Funk; Paul Otto Müller; Boris Belousov; Anton Savchenko; Rolf Findeisen; Jan Peters

In: Embracing Contacts - Workshop at ICRA 2023. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA-2023), located at ICRA 2023, June 2, London, United Kingdom, IEEE, 5/2023.

To the publication

Michael Lutter; Boris Belousov; Shie Mannor; Dieter Fox; Animesh Garg; Jan Peters

In: IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (PAMI), Vol. 45, No. 5, Pages 5534-5548, IEEE, 2023.

To the publication

Yuxi Liu; Boris Belousov; Niklas Funk; Georgia Chalvatzaki; Jan Peters; Oliver Tessmann

In: António Gomes Correia; Miguel Azenha; Paulo J. S. Cruz; Paulo Novais; Paulo Pereira (Hrsg.). Trends on Construction in the Digital Era. International Conference on Trends on Construction in the Post-Digital Era, Pages 167-181, ISBN 978-3-031-20241-4, Springer International Publishing, 2023.

To the publication


Since 2022, Professor Jan Peters is head of research department Systemic AI for Learning Robots at DFKI. Furthermore, he teaches and conducts research at the Department of Computer Science at Technical University Darmstadt. He is one of the world's leading researchers in the field of machine learning for autonomous intelligent robots and has been recognized for his achievements by the Dick Volz Best 2007 US Ph.D. Thesis Runner-Up Award, the Robotics: Science & Systems - Early Career Spotlight, the International Neural Network Society Young Investigator Award, the IEEE Robotics & Automation Early Career Award, and an ERC Starting Grant, among others. He was named an IEEE fellow in 2019 and an ELLIS fellow in 2021.

Although Jan Peters has only been a professor since 2011, graduates of his institute can already be found at nearly every top address in the world: as rising executives at Google, Facebook, and Amazon, as post-docs at Berkeley and MIT, and as professors at leading universities in the US, the UK, Holland, and Japan.

Prof. Peters studied Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Aerospace Engineering at TU Munich, FernUni Hagen, the National University of Singapore (NUS), and the University of Southern California (USC), earning several degrees: two Master's, Diplom-Informatiker, Diplom-Ingenieur, and a Ph.D. degree. His research career includes other positions at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Advanced Telecommunication Research Center in Japan, and Siemens Advanced Engineering in Singapore. He has led research groups on machine learning for robotics at the Max Planck Institutes for Biological Cybernetics (2007-2010) and Intelligent Systems (2010-2021).

Academic Career

2011 – now


Full professor (W3), Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS), Faculty for Computer Science, Technical University Darmstadt

2022 – now


Head of Department Systems AI for Robot Learning (SAIROL), German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)

2011 – 2021


Interdepart. Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems

2007 – 2010


Senior Research Scientist/Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics

2001 – 2007


Graduate Research Assistant, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA

2000 + 2003


Visiting Researcher, Advanced Telecommunication Research Center ATR, Kyoto, Japan




Supervisors: Prof. Stefan Schaal, Prof. Firdaus Udwadia, Ph.D. in Computer Science, University of Southern California, USA

Degree programmes

2004 – 2005


M.Sc. Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, University of Southern California, USA

2001 – 2002


M.Sc. Computer Science, University of Southern California, USA

2000 – 2001


Visiting student Mechatronics, National University of Singapore

1996 – 2002


Diplom-Ingenieur Electrical Engineering, TU München, Germany

1996 – 2002


Diplom-Informatiker, Fern-Universität Hagen, Germany

  • 2022  EIC Transition Grant VRP
  • 2021  AIAI Fellow, Amazon Research Award
  • 2020  ELLIS Fellow
  • 2019  IEEE Fellow
  • 2016 - 2021  ERC Starting Grant Skills4Robots
  • 2013  Young Investigator Award of the International Neural Networks Society (INNS), Early Career Award of the IEEE (Robotics & Automation Society RAS)
  • 2012  Early Career Spotlight at Robotics: Science & Systems
  • 2011  Dick Volz Best 2007 U.S. Robotics Ph.D. Thesis Runner-Up Award
  • 2011 - 2021 Ph.D. Advisor to two Best European Robotics Ph.D. Thesis Awards (M. Lutter, J. Kober) and two Best European Robotics Ph.D. Thesis Finalists (O.Kroemer, R. Lioutikov)
  • seit 2008  22 Best Paper Awards / Finalist or similar awards

Scientific Leadership

  • since 2020  Founding Member of Hessian Center for Artificial Intelligence hessian.AI
  • since 2019  Founding Director, ELLIS Robot Learning: Closing the Reality Gap!
  • 2011 - 2013  Programme Manager, PASCAL2 Thematic Programme: Cognitive Architectures & Robotics
  • 2008 - 2012 Founding Chair, IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Robot Learning with N. Roy (MIT), R. Tedrake (MIT), J. Morimoto (ATR)

Services to the Community

  • 2018  Program Chair, International Conference on Robot Learning (CoRL)
  • 2017  Program Chair, IEEE International Conference on Humanoid Robotics
  • 2014 - 2017 Editor, IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
  • since 2013  Action Editor Journal of Machine Learning Research (JLMR)
  • 2011–2015 Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Robotics (TRo)
  • since 2007  Reviewer for the national science foundations of Austria, Belgium, Canada, ERC, EU-ICT, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, USA, Slovenia, Switzerland
  • since 2007  Administration, robotics-worldwide, Main robotics mailing list with ∼25.000 members with Stefan Schaal, Michael Mistry and since 2015 also Tamim Asfour

German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz