Ludovic Righetti is an Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the Tandon School of Engineering of New York University and a Senior Researcher at the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Tübingen, Germany.
He studied at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland) where he received an engineering diploma in Computer Science (eq. MSc) in 2004 and a Doctorate in Science in 2008 under the supervision of Professor Auke Ijspeert. Between March 2009 and August 2012, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Computational Learning and Motor Control Lab with Professor Stefan Schaal (University of Southern California). In September 2012 he started the Movement Generation and Control Group at the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen, Germany where he became a W2 Independent Research Group Leader (eq. associate professor) in September 2015.
His research focuses on the planning and control of movements for autonomous robots, with a special emphasis on legged locomotion and manipulation but he is more broadly interested in problems at the intersection between decision making, automatic control, optimization, applied dynamical systems and machine learning.
He has received several awards, most notably the 2010 Georges Giralt PhD Award given by the European Robotics Research Network (EURON) for the best robotics thesis in Europe, the 2011 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) Best Paper Award, the 2016 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award and the 2016 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize from the German Research Foundation.
Awards and Grants
- 2016 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize given by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
- 2016 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award
- ERC Starting Grant 2014 for the 5 year project CONT-ACT
- Finalist for the Best Paper Award at Humanoids12 (November 2012) for the paper Encoding of Periodic and their Transient Motions by a Single Dynamic Movement Primitive by J. Ernesti, L. Righetti, M. Do, T. Asfour and S. Schaal
- Overall Best Paper Award at IROS11 (September 2011) for the paper Online movement adaptation based on previous sensor experiences by P. Pastor, L. Righetti, M. Kalakrishnan and S. Schaal (out of 2459 submitted / 790 accepted papers)
- Peter Pastor was Finalist for the Best Student Paper Award at IROS11 (September 2011) for the paper Online movement adaptation based on previous sensor experiences by P. Pastor, L. Righetti, M. Kalakrishnan and S. Schaal
- Georges Giralt PhD Award (March 2010) for the best PhD thesis in Europe in the field of robotics. The award is given by the European Robotics Research Network (EURON).
- Young Researcher Scholarship from the Swiss National Science Foundation (March 2009)
- Finalist for the Best Student Paper Award at ICRA06 The paper Programmable Central Pattern Generators: an application to biped locomotion control was one of the 3 finalists for the Best Student Paper Award at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation 2006.
- Jean Landry Award (April 2004) Awards an original and personal scientific work, obtained for the master thesis Control and Synchronization with Nonlinear Dynamical Systems for an application to Humanoid Robotics.
Ethics and Robotics
I am concerned by the use of robotics and automation in military applications and more generally with uses of technology that do not primarily foster human development, human rights and more equal and free societies.
I am part of the Robotics and Automation Research and Practice Ethics Committee from the Robotics and Automation Society. Checkout for example our piece on Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems [Ethical, Legal, and Societal Issues] published in the Robotics and Automation Magazine.
I have organized with several colleagues events to discuss ethical implications of robotics research. Our first workshop on the ethical questions raised by military applications of robotics was organized at ICRA 2014, the video proceedings are available here.