Foundations of Robotics and Autonomous Learning Summer School (RALSS’17)

Berlin, September 4-8, 2017
Organization: Marc Toussaint, Host: Oliver Brock

Extended Application Deadline: June 18, 2017

Participant Information

Please see the Prep- and Info-Material document. This is regularly updated and includes the planned schedule.


General Information

The RALSS Summer School focuses on the foundations and intersections of Robotics, Machine Learning and AI. With this unique focus we aim to cover what is essential for understanding real-world intelligence, which includes understanding the problems specific to our physical world (robotics) as well as the foundations of machine learning and AI. This summer school is organized by the Autonomous Learning Priority Programme, sponsored by the German Research Foundation.

International experts will teach solid foundations of the state-of-the-art in robotics and machine learning for robotics. RALSS’17 will include:

  • Prep Materials will be given to participants prior to the summer school. On the first day, sessions will review these materials and jointly discuss related exercises.
  • Overview & Foundational Courses will recap basics in machine learning and robotics with shared methodological foundations (such as optimization, probabilistic modelling and inference, and information seeking strategies).
  • Focus Lectures will cover to selected topics in depth and will be paired with Practical Sessions where participants solve exercises and implement the taught methods in interaction with the lecturers.

The focus lectures will form the core of the summer school. While the program is not finalized yet, tentative focus lectures will be:

  • System view on mobile manipulation (Oliver Brock)
  • The many ways to design control architectures (Sami Haddadin)
  • Analyzing and learning from human demonstration (Tamim Asfour)
  • Reintegrating Robotics & AI (Michael Beetz)
  • 3D Perception for robotic manipulation (Sven Behnke)
  • Reinforcement Learning in Robotics (Marc Toussaint)
  • Ethics and Social Impact discussion (Wolfgang Schulz)

Target group

RALSS’17 is for post-graduate students interested in robotics and machine learning as the two major research fields towards real-world AI. Participants should have a strong interest in understanding the joint foundations (theory, methods & algorithms) of these fields, and in fundamental research exploring the limits of the existing methodologies.


Our lecturers are international experts that will be supported by a postdoc or PhD member of their lab who is responsible for the practical parts and the prep material.

Programme & Materials

The precise program and all materials (esp. prep material for students) will appear on this website.



  • German Research Foundation under the Priority Programme SPP 1523
  • A social event will be sponsored by Amazon

Inquires & Application

For administrative inquires, please contact Alica Abberger.
Further details and full information on application, registration and traveling details are found on the RALSS’17 Management Site