Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Jochen J. Steil

Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany
CITEC, Faculty of Technology, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany

Fellow of the ZiF research group "Competition and Priority Control in Mind and Brain: New Perspectives from Task-Driven Vision"


Jochen Steil studied mathematics and slavistic studies at Bielefeld University, Germany and graduated with a diploma in mathematics in 1993. Shortly after, he joined the Neuroinformatics Group of Helge Ritter in Bielefeld, where he developed algorithms for recurrent neural network learning. In 1995/96 he spent one year at St. Petersburg University, Russia, supported by a grant from DAAD. After returning to Bielefeld, he received the PhD in computer science with a thesis on Input-output Stability of Recurrent Neural Networks. From 2002 on, Jochen Steil turned towards robotics, being involved in several projects of the Bielefeld special research unit "Situated Artificial Communicators", where he participated in developing robotic systems integrating computational models of attention, speech recognition, object recognition, and action generation. After receiving his habilitation with a thesis on Stability, Learning, and Recurrency: from Neural Networks to Robot Architectures he was appointed adjoint professor at the Faculty of Technology at Bielefeld University. In 2007, he was co-founder of the CoR-Lab and has been involved in the Bielefeld Center of Excellenz in Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) as inaugural managing director, project leader and most recently as area coordinator for attentive systems. Since 2007, Jochen Steil holds the position as managing director of the Institute for Cognition and Robotics (CoR-Lab), which grew out of a close cooperation with the Honda Research Institute Europe GmbH and today additionally hosts several EU projects in robotics and collaborative projects with industry partners further in robotics and interaction. In 2009 , Jochen Steil co-founded the teutolab-robotics, an hand-on robotics lab for school pupils, and since 2010 he is the coordinator of a large European project AMARSi - Adaptive modular architectures for rich motor skills.

Current Main Research Interests

Jochen Steil's main research interest is in learning architectures for artificial cognitive systems and specifically robots, mostly based on dynamical systems and neural networks based paradigms. To this aim, he combines theoretical work on efficient online learning, exploration, and non-linear systems stability with applications in movement control, for body coordination, visual online learning, and to enable imitiation learning for humanoid robots. Eompuational models of attention, which are a basic component of cognitive robot architectures, have been a further thread of research, which Jochen Steil has followed recently in a collaboration with Werner Schneider in the Bielefeld Excellence Center CITEC.

Five selected publications with particular relevance to the ZiF Research Group

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