I studied computer science and business administration at the University of Erlangen, where I received my Diploma degree (Dipl.-Inf.) in 1988. In 1983/84, I studied one year at California State University, Northridge, California on a Fulbright scholarship.
After working in a start-up AI company in Berlin for a while, I joined the Bavarian Research Center for Knowledge-Based Systems (FORWISS) in Erlangen in 1990 and performed research in several projects covering topics ranging from knowledge acquisition and maintenance, distributed scheduling and planning, multiagent and autonomous systems. I received my Ph.D. degree from University of Erlangen in 1996 with a dissertation on Distributed Reason Maintenance for Multiagent System, published as volume 1229 in Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence by Springer.
In 1995, I joined the Neuroinformatics Department at University of Ulm, a multidisciplinary research group performing research in the theory and application of both artificial and biological neural networks and evolutionary computation, as a senior researcher. Since 1997, I hold the position of a research assistant professor and lecture on robotics, autonomous agents, and artificial life. In my research, I investigate adaptive hybrid models for representing dynamic environments in autonomous mobile robots, principles of neurosymbolic integration, robot control architectures, and robot learning. I helped to build the Ulm Robotics Lab, and initiated and coordinate The Ulm Sparrows, a team consisting of humans, robots, and software agents that participates in the RoboCup research intiative. In 2000, I founded Wonderbits, a company developing adaptive autonomous agent technology, and TCSI: The Cool Science Institute, a non-profit organization that promotes the use of educational robotics in high school education.
In February 2005, I joined the Fraunhofer Institute for Autonomous Intelligent Systems, where I work on topics related to educational robotics and service robotics in the Behavior Engineering group. Since April 2005, I also hold a position as Professor for Autonomous Systems in the Faculty of Computer Science at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, where I teach various classes in the international Master of Science program on Autonomous Systems.
I am a member of AAAI, ACM, IAS, ICANN, IEEE and its Computer and Robotics and Automation Societies, and GI, the German Association of Computer Scientists. I have an active role in the RoboCup Federation and am a member of the RoboCup Executive Committee. My research interests include a wide range of fields in robotics, neural and evolutionary computation, and (distributed) artificial intelligence, including autonomous mobile robots, neurosymbolic integration, learning and memory, and robot control and agent architectures.
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