Frank Kirchner

Executive Director DFKI/Professor, DFKI/University of Bremen/Platform Lernende Systeme

Frank Kirchner is Executive Director DFKI Bremen and in charge of the research department „Robotics Innovation Center“ with more than 100 employees. Founded in 2006 as a DFKI laboratory in Bremen, the institute is building upon the fundamental research of the Robotics Research Group led by Kirchner at the University of Bremen. Since 2002, the university professor has held the chair for robotics in the faculty of mathematics and computer science. Kirchner studied and obtained his doctorate at the University of Bonn and worked as a senior researcher at the Gesellschaft für Mathematik und Datenverarbeitung (GMD) in Sankt Augustin and at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at Northeastern University in Boston (USA). In 2013, under Kirchner’s leadership and following the model of the DFKI, the Brazilian government founded the "Brazilian Institute of Robotics" in Salvador da Bahia, where he was the Scientific Director during the development phase. There he was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2017 for his achievements in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence. Frank Kirchner is one of the leading experts in the field of biologically inspired behavior and motion sequences of highly redundant, multifunctional robot systems. In addition, he supervises a variety of doctoral theses, is a regular reviewer for a number of international scientific journals and conferences and is the author of more than 350 publications in the field of robotics and AI. In 2015, Frank Kirchner was elected and accepted as a member of the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW).

Frank is speaking at

Application Track 4 - Autonomous systems
November 4, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm


  • Frank Kirchner (Chair) Executive Director DFKI/Professor, DFKI/University of Bremen/Platform Lernende Systeme
  • Anibal Ollero (Chair) Full Professor, Universidad de Sevilla/euRobotics
  • Wolfram Burgard (Speaker) Toyota Autonomous Driving chair & University Freiburg
  • Isabel Pozo (Speaker) VP Head of Airspace Management, Airbus
  • Feiyu Xu (Speaker) Global Head of Artificial Intelligence, SAP, SAP
  • Kean Liu (Speaker) General Manager, CRRC Zhuzhou Institute
  • Sigang He (Speaker) Europe Chief Adviser, CRRC Zhuzhou Institute


This track addresses the current challenges that arise at the interface between Big Data and autonomous systems for industry and the development of autonomous systems. Especially the interface between data infrastructures, data access and data sharing on the one hand and autonomous systems or robots on the other:
  • What are the biggest challenges in terms of Big Data and robotics (e.g. real-time data streams and latency)?
  • Which data infrastructures are needed to support the development of interactive, context aware, adjustable, learning autonomous systems?
  • How can improve access to data to advance the development of autonomous systems?
  • Do we need more cooperation regarding large amounts of data for autonomous systems and how can we foster cooperation?
In order to meet these challenges, questions arise regarding options for action and the development of strategies:
  • How can research and development help the industry?
  • How can a European way be developed to strengthen AI and autonomous systems and strengthen Europe's position in international competition?
  • Which industrial strategy is necessary for Europe and what could it look like?
To discuss these challenges and issues, the track will bring together industry representatives from the US, China and the EU and robotics researchers.

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