Gerd Hirzinger

Interview Location: Germany

Interview Synopsis

In this interview, Hirzinger discusses his contributions to the field of robotics, in particular mechatronics, robot sensing, telerobotics, and space robots. He recounts his career at DLR and his involvement with various robotics projects, including ROTEX. Additionally he comments on the future challenges and direction of robotics and provides advice to young people interested in the field.    


Gerd Hirzinger was born in Schwandorf, Bavaria in 1945. He received his Dipl. -Ing. degree and doctorate in electronics and communication theory from the Technical University of Munich in 1969 and 1974, respectively. In 1969 he joined DLR (the German national aeronautics and space research center) where he worked initially on high frequency technologies and digital control systems and then gradually moved into robotics for space. He became head of DLR's Automation and Robotics laboratory in 1976 and director of the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics Center (RMC) in 1992. From 1991 he also held a professorship at the Technical Institute of Munich. His research work in robotics focuses on robot sensing, sensory feedback, mechatronics, man-machine interfaces, telerobotics, and space exploration.    Hirzinger has contributed over 600 published papers in robotics, and been involved in several robotics projects, including the ROTEX space robot technology experiment in 1993 and ROKVISS for the International Space Station. For his contributions to the he has received numerous national and international awards. in 2010, he became a fellow of the IEEE.