Prof. Dr. Alin Albu-Schäffer



Academic Career and Research Areas

The research field of Professor Albu-Schäffer (b. 1968) is in the area of design, sensor based programming and control of complex robotic systems for manipulation and locomotion. In particular, he is interested in robots and algorithms for direct, safe and intuitive interaction with humans and unknown environments. A major emphasis of this research work is the processing and feedback of heterogeneous sensor information within ultra-lightweight, compliant robots inspired by biological systems. The main areas of application are robotic assistance in space, industrial manufacturing, health-care and home environments.
Professor Alin Albu-Schäffer completed his studies in electrical engineering at TU Timisoara in Romania in 1993 and obtained his PhD in 2002 from TUM. Since 1995 he has been a researcher at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) where he has headed the Department of Mechatronic Components and Systems since 2009. In 2012 Professor Albu-Schäffer was simultaneously appointed full professor at TUM in the Department of Computer Science and director of the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics at DLR. He is currently on leave of absence from TUM on account of his role as institute director at DLR. Despite this he continues to teach a limited number of courses at TUM and heads a small research group focusing on robotics.


  • IEEE King-Sun Fu Best Paper Award of the Transactions on Robotics (2012)
  • EU-Robotics TechTransfer Award (2011)
  • Best Application Paper Award, IROS (2008)
  • Outstanding Paper Award, Industrial Robot Journal (2007)
  • DLR Scientific Award 2007: Award of the Management Board of DLR (2007)

Yang C, Gowrishankar G, Haddadin S, Parusel S, Albu-Schäffer A, Burdet E: “Human Like Adaptation of Force and Impedance in Stable and Unstable Interactions”. IEEE Transactions on Robotics. 2011; 27(5): 918-930.


Albu-Schäffer A, Eiberger O, Grebenstein M, Haddadin S, Ott Ch, Wimbock T, Wolf S, Hirzinger G: “Soft robotics: From Torque Feedback Controlled Lightweight Robots to Intrinsically Compliant Systems”. IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine. 2008; 15(3):20-30.


Haddadin S, Albu-Schäffer A, Hirzinger G: “Requirements for Safe Robots: Measurements, Analysis & New Insights”. International Journal on Robotics Research. 2009; 28: 1507-1527.


Albu-Schäffer A, Haddadin S, Ott Ch, Stemmer A, Wimböck T, Hirzinger G: “The DLR Lightweight Robot – Design and Control Concepts for Robots in Human Environments”. Industrial Robot: An International Journal. 2007; 34(5): 376-385.


Albu-Schäffer A, Ott Ch, Hirzinger G: “A Unified Passivity Based Control Framework for Position, Torque and Impedance Control of Flexible Joint Robots”. International Journal of Robotics Research. 2007; 26(1): 23-39.