Herman Bruyninckx

Interview Location: Belgium

Interview Synopsis

In this interview, Bruyninckx recounts his career and his contributions to the field of robotics. He discusses past projects and the challenges that roboticists faced and will face. He reflects on the future of the field and its applications, and provides advice for young people interested in robotics, stressing the importance of a broad, multidisciplinary scientific education.


Herman Bruyninckx was born on December 22nd, 1962 in Turnhout, Belgium. He attended Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (University of Leuven) in Belgium, completing three master's degrees: Mathematics in 1984, Computer Science in 1987, and a postgraduate engineering degree in Mechatronics in 1988. He completed a short period of military service from August 1988 to July 1989 before returning as a research assistant at the University of Leuven in the Department of Mechanical Engineering from 1989 to 1995, when he earned his Ph.D. there. He continued to do research with organizations such as the Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders (FWO) in Belgium, the Robotics group at Stanford, and the Centre for Autonomous Systems at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. Further involvement with the robotics community includes membership with European Robotics Research Network (EURON) in 2000 and becoming its coordinator in 2007, and initiating the Free Software project, OROCOS in 2001. Continuing at Leuven, Bruyninckx became an Assistant Professor in 1998, an Associate Professor in October 2003, a Professor in 2008, and finally a Full Professor in October 2013. Additionally, he became a part-time Full Professor at Eindhoven University of Technology in February 2014. His involvement with the robotics community focuses on mechatronics, robotic programming and control, sensors and perception, and learning in a real-time environment.