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Department of Computer Science


Prof. Dr Paul G. Plöger

Autonomous Systems


Department of Computer Science


Sankt Augustin


C 224


Grantham-Allee 20

53757, Sankt Augustin


Research Interests
  • Recurrent Neural Networks, especially Echo State Networks (ESNs)
  • Service Robots 
  • Fault Identification, Diagnosis and Removal for autonomous systems (FDD)
  • Automated short answer grading (ASAG)

1976 - 1984
Diploma degree in Mathematics and Physics, University of Dortmund

1979 - 1980
Masters course Mathematics, Physics, UCB Berkley, scholarship of Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst e. V.

1984 - 1985
Research assistant University of Dortmund, Department of Mathematics

Junior scientist at GMD / senior at Fraunhofer IAIS

first participation in RoboCup 98, Paris

Dissertation at Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus: Timing Estimation and Optimization in Embedded System Design

Assistant Professor at Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University

Full Professor Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University Autonomous Systems

BMBF Project DESIRE, lead in work package Architecture

EU FP6 Project XPERO, lead in work package software engineering and development framework

BMBF Project "German Russian Robotics Initiative" (GRRI)

BMWI Project "Accelerating the Innovation Cycle in Service Robotics" (AICISS)

Advised Students:


  • Abheek Kumar Bose
  • Alex Juarez
  • Ali Uygar Kuecuekemre
  • Anastassia Kuestenmacher
  • Arpita Chakraborty
  • Azamat Shakhimardanov
  • Beatriz Leon
  • Benjamin Maus
  • Christian Rempis
  • Daniel Paurat
  • David Droeschel
  • David Froehlich
  • Dirk Holz
  • Deyuan Qiu
  • Dimitri Unrau
  • Emi Mathews
  • Farid Gulmammadov
  • Heinstein Fotso Kamgne
  • Iman Awaad
  • Jan Paulus
  • Jingang Kang
  • Jimesh Thomas
  • Kai Pervoelz
  • Manuel Fabritius
  • Marco Rhein
  • Mike Reckhaus
  • Noury Khayat
  • Peter Schoell
  • Peter Wirth
  • Phillipp Hessenbruch
  • Rejin Narayanan
  • Robert Mueller
  • Ronny Hartanto
  • Sebastian Blumenthal
  • Shahzad Cheema
  • Stefan Christen
  • Steffen Rost
  • Sven Olufs
  • Sven Teichmann
  • Timur Saitov
  • Thomas Breuer
  • Umer Kayani
  • Viatcheslav Tretyakov
  • Vishal Patel
  • Xiaochuan Jiang
  • Xu Zhimin
  • Yun Zheng

Research Projects


In the MigrAVE project, the objective is to develop supporting technologies for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD is a disorder that leads to behavioural and social challenges for those affected, for instance difficulty recognising emotions, general inability to act appropriately in everyday social situations, or repetitive behaviours. Early treatment of ASD could mitigate the effects of the disorder and improve the quality of life of affected people. For that reason, MigrAVE focuses on treatment of young children who have been diagnosed with the disorder. In particular, MigrAVE aims to develop two complementary tools to support both therapists and parents in the treatment of children with ASD: An online portal that provides a complete learning curriculum for children at different levels of the disorder and different stages of development A robot assistant that provides a unique learning opportunity for children by reducing the pressure of challenging social situations Both the portal and the robot assistant are developed to be multilingual, as the project particularly aims to develop tools that are usable by families with a migration background and potential language barriers.

Project management at the H-BRS

Prof. Dr Paul G. Plöger
Teaser Placeholder
SmartBots - Autonomous control of mobile robots using computer vision algorithms and modern neural network architectures

<p>Die Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg - einfach ausgezeichnet. Studieren Sie bei uns! Es erwartet Sie ein praxisorientiertes Studium auf der Basis aktueller Forschungsergebnisse.</p>

Project management at the H-BRS

Prof. Dr Rainer Herpers
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Smart cities offer a unique opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of using a variety of robotic applications in different living contexts for all European citizens. &nbsp;SciRoc will call for leading European robotics developers from European companies and research labs to send teams to demonstrate their technologies and systems in high profile competitive demonstrations in a smart city environment. SciRoc continues to build the European Robotics League; raising interest through public engagement, validating and disseminating new benchmarks, and accelerating development through demonstrating the performance of components and techniques against these benchmarks. &nbsp;Setting competitions based on these benchmarks in the Smart City context drives development towards real societal needs. SciRoc will offer companies as well as researchers a unique opportunity to demonstrate their systems and technology to a wide public audience in a realistic and believable context, and will foster an informed, fact-based communication about robotics and its societal implications with public stakeholders and the media. &nbsp;The synergy between smart robots and smart cities adds value to both, and showcases the technologies which will shape our living spaces in the near future.

Project management at the H-BRS

Prof. Dr Paul G. Plöger
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Objectives Develop and implement a disruptive concept for automatically guided vehicles (AGVs) that lowers the still existing barrier in logistics by offering • cost-effective, automated or semi-automated indoor transportation of goods, • while coping with existing legacy in terms of size, shape, and weight of goods and containers, • without imposing disruptive changes in existing logistic solutions, such as rebuilding entire warehouses or switching to new containers or storage technology.

Project management at the H-BRS

Prof. Dr Erwin Prassler
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Beyond SPAI

Industrial robots could be used with higher efficiency than before due to today's technical improvements. But for the sake of accident prevention they still work almost exclusively "under themselves". People have to be kept out of their working area by means of fences or the working speed of the robots has to be reduced considerably, if people are in danger, for example during robot maintenance. It would be useful for improved productivity if during the normal work process, heavy parts are precisely positioned by the robot while a worker does complex mounting of components to the heavy part - safely natural! This approach is called „Smart Production“ within&nbsp; the future project„Industry 4.0“ . In case of the project „beyondSPAI“ the advancement of the Robot-Human-Interaction with regard to the safety. However, this requires a different kind of protective measures compared to those fences mentioned at the beginning. The collaborating robots should become the so-called direct collegues of the human being, being able to think proactively and to react flexibly to the people working next to them. The project is the continuation of the project "SPAI - safe person detection in the working area of industrial robots by application of an active NIR camera system." The research project&nbsp;of the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg considers both safety of the far&nbsp;and of the critical close-up range directly between humans and the "collegue robot". This requires a multi-level, teethed protection in order to exhaust the efficiency of the collaboration and, at the same time, safeguard the safety of the employees.&nbsp; In order to find a solution, the project group focuses on the intelligent combination of&nbsp;&nbsp;different sensor technologies, especially within the close-up range of the robot.&nbsp; Directly mounted sensors on the robot should clamp a protective zone closely around the moveable parts of the system. On&nbsp;this spot, both optical point sensors directly on the tool of the robot and a net of ultrasound sensors should be applied. Optical sensors make it&nbsp;possible to reliably distinguish&nbsp;the relevant material surfaces and are especially suitable for&nbsp;skin detection due to their special reflecting&nbsp;character&nbsp;within the close-up ultrared area&nbsp;via a so-called " spectral signature". This method allows us to safely detect human skin independently of their&nbsp;color, sex and age. With regard to the reliability of a&nbsp;detection&nbsp;due to color&nbsp; characteristics whithin the visible spectral area, it performs much better. This property can be used especially while&nbsp;handling the tool of the robot, for example&nbsp;to impede the application of a welding tool in the end with an arm or a hand. Together with the ultrasound sensors and possible further sensor types this enables a multiple&nbsp;redundant surveillance&nbsp;of the close-up danger zone directly around the robot. In a medium-sized distance to the robot a special close-up ultrared camera system is to be applied in order to control a wider protection zone. The camera system is analoguely to the optical sensors for the close-up area in the position to detect skin with a high robustness. In this case, we add special image processing algorithms for the detection of persons by skin information in order&nbsp;to safely detect the silhouette of humans on the picture. For this purpose, this system should be mounted on&nbsp;a controllable mobile chassis, enabling the alignment of the camera to a context-specific&nbsp;critical danger zone.&nbsp;The protection system can identify the information known&nbsp;by programming the robot via the next actions. This way, we are in the position to specifically control areas, in which no people should be found during the next planned movement. By means of the described sensor technology and&nbsp;applying an intelligent software the&nbsp;industrial robot systems should in the end be in the position to reliably detect when they come too near to a human being and stop eyery dangerous movement for&nbsp;them in time. However, in such a dangerous case, as far as possible not the whole production line should be stopped, but only the concerned "collegue robot" until his sensors show no danger for people in the danger zone any more. Due to the practical relevance for future production methods the Hochschule was able to win the Institut für Arbeitsschutz der DGUV, the TH Köln and the company K.A. Schmersal GmbH &amp; Co. KG as partners for this&nbsp;project cooperation, whereupon Schmersal takes over 10% of the project costs. But also internally, the Hochschule interdisciplinary cooperates within the departments "Computer Sciences" and "Electrical engineering and Mechanical engineering" in order to be in the position to carry out the research project successfully with the necessary expertise.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;

Project management at the H-BRS

Prof. Dr Norbert Jung
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eDiViDe (European Digital Virtual Design Lab)

In European companies and research institutes VHDL is the most popular language for the design of digital electronic systems. VHDL stands for VHSIC Hardware Description Language, in which VHSIC is the abbreviation of Very High Speed Integrated Circuit. In each partnering institute in this project (and also in many other European institutes of higher education) VHDL is part of the academic bachelor and master in electronics. The language can be used for the development of applications on both programmable and non-programmable chips. The most widely used programmable chips are FPGAs or Field Programmable Gate Arrays. Decades of experience shows that the design of digital electronic applications needs a lot of practice. The classical way this is done, is by simulating digital designs, intended for implementation on programmable or non-programmable chips, using specific software on a PC. The verification of the developed design is done by checking the simulation results in a text format or as a digital waveform. This way of simulating a digital design is mostly experienced by students as being boring. Furthermore, a simulation-only verification approach causes the students to lose contact with reality, while the development of a real-life application is a big advantage for a future engineer. To solve the limitations of simulation software, a real-life laboratory application can be driven by a programmable chip. The disadvantage of this way of learning is the overhead in time and money for the developers (i.e. usually the professors or assistants). Besides, the laboratory setup is only accessible within the institute and one setup does not offer sufficient variation in student exercises, assignments and projects. In this project, we will develop a virtual laboratory that allows students to access several real-life setups whenever they are connected to the internet. These setups will be developed by the partnering institutes and will be made programmable through the internet using VHDL. Each setup will be accompanied by a camera that films the behaviour of the setup and sends back the result to the student. This way, the verification of the design is done by checking the behaviour of the application instead of digital simulation results. The impact of the project is two-fold. On the one hand, the project prepares students for digital design in a company environment, which is very relevant, given the rapid digitalization of our society. It gives the partnering institutes the opportunity to deliver engineers with better skills in digital design. On the other hand, this project contributes to the visibility of the research activities in the partnering institutes, since each institute will focus on its own expertise in the development of the two advanced laboratory setups. Besides, the distributed laboratory will be made extensible such that other institutes can add their own laboratory setup. This way, the impact will grow beyond the project period.

Project management at the H-BRS

Prof. Dr Kerstin Lemke-Rust Prof. Dr Paul G. Plöger
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