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Institute News

New video-based approach to 3D motion capture makes virtual avatars more realistic than ever

  • 17 June 2020

With Video Inference for Body Pose and Shape Estimation (VIBE), scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems have developed a neural network that makes video-based 3D motion capture more accurate, faster, and less expensive.

Michael Black Nikos Athanasiou Muhammed Kocabas Valerie Callaghan


Michael J. Black awarded “test of time” prize at the 2020 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)

  • 16 June 2020

Black, a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS), has been awarded the Longuet-Higgins Prize.

The award honors research that has made a significant impact in the research field of computer vision.

Michael Black Valerie Callaghan


Four-legged robot makes research comparable worldwide

  • 16 June 2020

Solo 8 is a new research robot, developed as an open-source project in the German cities of Tübingen and Stuttgart. The dog-resembling, torque-controlled quadruped is capable of very dynamic movements. It is made entirely of 3D printed parts and off-the-shelf components, which makes it an easy to replicate platform ideal for fundamental research in legged locomotion and robotic education. The project aims to provide robotic research labs around the world with an easy-to-assemble legged robot kit that doesn’t break the bank. Additionally, software on Solo 8 is constantly improved and publicly available on GitHub. In return, the scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems hope to exchange insights with other teams. Running experiments on the same platform creates comparative data – an ideal foundation for rapid progress in the research field of robotics.

Felix Grimminger Avadesh Meduri Majid Khadiv Julian Viereck Manuel Wüthrich Maximilien Naveau Vincent Berenz Steve Heim Felix Widmaier Jonathan Fiene Alexander Badri-Sprowitz Ludovic Righetti Linda Behringer


CVPR Oral Now Online

  • 15 June 2020

We just uploaded our presentations for our CVPR paper "Optimizing Rank-based Metrics with Blackbox Differentiation" to YouTube.

Michal Rolinek Anselm Paulus Marin Vlastelica Pogancic Georg Martius


Swimming robot gives valuable insights into locomotion of fish

  • 09 June 2020

Researchers study morphological intelligence encoded into the physical system of animals

The community of researchers developing robot-models that are designed according to the morphological intelligence of animals is growing steadily. Roboticists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and Harvard University study a swimming soft robot and its wave-like propulsion under water. From their findings about the parameters which influence the thrust force of the robot, they then draw conclusions about the complex locomotion of fish.

Ardian Jusufi Linda Behringer


Debates on the future of robotics at ICRA: Katherine J. Kuchenbecker makes a case for virtual conferences

  • 06 June 2020

The virtual debate was held at the 2020 International Conference on Robotics and Automation.

During a 90-minute debate, leading scientists in the field of robotics discussed the pros and cons of large international conferences.

Katherine J. Kuchenbecker Valerie Callaghan


Research beacons MPI-IS and ETH Zurich strengthen cooperation

  • 27 May 2020

Extended funding for joint AI and robotics research center

Both world class research institutions in the field of intelligent systems have agreed to continue their research partnership, the Max Planck ETH Center for Learning Systems, for a further five years. Meanwhile, senior scientists from the MPI-IS have been appointed as Affiliated Professors at ETH, intensifying the academic exchange.

Bernhard Schölkopf Metin Sitti Sarah Danes Linda Behringer


EML Webinar by Prof. Metin Sitti, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems

  • 20 May 2020

Our Director Metin Sitti hosted an Extreme Mechanical Letters (EML) Webinar with the topic "Soft-bodied Small-Scale Robots". The EML Webinars are a series of very prestigious lectures with many great speakers.

Metin Sitti


Rolling into the deep

  • 20 May 2020

Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. They covered the ball-shaped microroller with a magnetic nanofilm on one side and with anti-cancer drugs on the other. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

Yunus Alapan Ugur Bozuyuk Pelin Erkoc Alp Can Karacakol Metin Sitti Linda Behringer


Joint European Disruptive Initiative (JEDI) invites scientists to join the fight against COVID-19

  • 20 May 2020

The JEDI Billion Molecules against Covid-19 Grand Challenge was launched at the beginning May. The call for submissions is open until June 6.

Using supercomputing and AI, participating teams will screen enormous molecular libraries against the virus's protein targets. Results will be cross-correlated to determine a “high potential” list of unprecedented quality, allowing a fast track to clinical testing.

Bernhard Schölkopf