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Mikel Sagardia

DLR German Aerospace Center
Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics
Autonomy and Teleoperation
Muenchener Str. 20
82234 Wessling

telephone: +49 8153 28-1039
email: Mikel Sagardia


I am working at the Robotics and Mechatronics Center of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) as a research engineer. I carry out my research in the department of Autonomy and Tele-Programming under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Alin Albu-Schäffer.

My work focuses on collision detection and force computation algorithms that allow for haptic assembly simulations with complex virtual objects. Using this technology we are able to reduce pruction times and costs, as well as train assembly technicians.

You can check several videos related to my work on my Vimeo and Youtube channels. For instance, the following clip displays a virtual car assembly simulation with haptic feedback:


Sagardia, Mikel; Martín Turrillas, Alexander; Hulin, Thomas.
Realtime Collision Avoidance for Mechanisms with Complex Geometries (Video).
IEEE Virtual Reality, 2018.
Sagardia, Mikel; Hulin, Thomas.
Multimodal Evaluation of the Differences between Real and Virtual Assemblies (Paper).
IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 2017.
Sagardia, Mikel; Hulin, Thomas.
Evaluation of a Penalty and a Constraint-Based Haptic Rendering Algorithm with Different Haptic Interfaces and Stiffness Values (Paper). IEEE Virtual Reality, 2017.
Sagardia, Mikel; Hulin, Thomas.
A Fast and Robust Six-DoF God Object Heuristic for Haptic Rendering of Complex Models with Friction (Paper). ACM VRST, 2016
Sagardia, Mikel; Hulin, Thomas; Hertkorn, Katharina; Kremer, Philipp; Schätzle, Simon.
A Platform for Bimanual Virtual Assembly Training with Haptic Feedback in Large Multi-Object Environments (Paper). ACM VRST, 2016
Nottensteiner, Korbinian; Sagardia, Mikel; Stemmer, Andreas; Borst, Christoph.
Narrow Passage Sampling in the Observation of Robotic Assembly Tasks (Paper). IEEE ICRA, 2016
Jaekel, Steffen; Lampariello, Roberto; Panin, Giorgio; Sagardia, Mikel; Brunner, Bernhard; Porges, Oliver; Kraemer, Erich; Wieser, Matthias; Haarmann, Richard; Pietras, Markus; Biesbroek, Robin.
Robotic Capture and De-Orbit of a Heavy, Uncooperative and Tumbeling Target Satellite in Low Earth Orbit (Paper). ASTRA, 2015.
Sagardia, Mikel; Wolff, Robin; Hertkorn, Katharina; Hulin, Thomas; Hummel, Johannes; Gerndt, Andreas; Dodiya, Janki; Schätzle, Simon. VR-OOS: The DLR’s Virtual Reality Simulator for Telerobotic On-Orbit ServicingWith Haptic Feedback (Paper). IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2015.
Sagardia, Mikel; Stouraitis, Theodoros; Lopes e Silva, João.
A New Fast and Robust Collision Detection and Force Computation Algorithm Applied to the Physics Engine Bullet: Method, Integration, and Evaluation (Paper). EuroVR, 2014.
Castellini, Claudio; Hertkorn, Katharina; Sagardia, Mikel; Sierra González, David; Nowak, Markus.
A Virtual Piano-Playing Environment for Rehabilitation Based upon Ultrasound Imaging (Paper).
IEEE BioRob, 2014.
Sagardia, Mikel; Hertkorn, Katharina; Sierra González, David; Castellini, Claudio.
Ultrapiano: A Novel Human-Machine Interface Applied to Virtual Reality (Video). IEEE ICRA, 2014.
Best Video Award Finalist.
Sagardia, Mikel; Stouraitis, Theodoros; Lopes e Silva, João.
Integration of a Haptic Rendering Algorithm Based on Voxelized and Point-Sampled Structures into the Physics Engine Bullet (Poster). IEEE 3DUI, 2014.
Dörner, Ralf; Matthys, Geert; Bogen, Manfred; Rilling, Stefan; Gerndt, Andreas; Dodiya, Janki; Hertkorn, Katharina; Hulin, Thomas; Hummel, Johannes; Sagardia, Mikel; Wolff, Robin; Khnert, Tom; Brunnett,  Guido; Buchholz, Hagen; Blum, Lisa; Menk, Christoffer; Bade, Christian; Schreiber, Werner; Greiner,  Matthias; Alexander, Thomas; Kleiber, Michael; Bruder, Gerd; Steinicke, Frank.
Fallbeispiele für VR/AR (Book Chapter). In Book Virtual und Augmented Reality (VR / AR).
Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2013.
Weber, Bernhard; Sagardia, Mikel; Hulin, Thomas; Preusche, Carsten.
Visual, Vibrotactile, and Force Feedback of Collisions in Virtual Environments: Effects on Performance, Mental Workload and Spatial Orientation (Paper). VAMR, 2013.
Sagardia, Mikel; Hulin, Thomas.
Fast and Accurate Distance, Penetration, and Collision Queries Using Point-Sphere Trees and Distance Fields (Poster). ACM SIGGRAPH, 2013.
Sagardia, Mikel; Hertkorn, Katharina; Hulin, Thomas; Wolff, Robin; Hummel, Johannes; Dodiya, Janki; Gerndt, Andreas.
An Interactive Virtual Reality System for On-Orbit Servicing (Video). IEEE Virtual Reality, 2013.
Sagardia, Mikel; Weber, Bernhard; Hulin, Thomas; Preusche, Carsten; Hirzinger, Gerd.
Evaluation of Visual and Force Feedback in Virtual Assembly Verifications (Paper). IEEE Virtual Reality, 2012.
Hulin, Thomas; Hertkorn, Katharina;  Kremer, Philipp;  Preusche, Carsten; Sch\"atzle, Simon; Artigas, Jordi; Sagardia, Mikel; Zacharias, Franziska.
The DLR Bimanual Haptic Device with Optimized Workspace (Video). IEEE ICRA, 2011.

Weller, Rene; Mainzer, David; Zachmann, Gabriel; Sagardia, Mikel; Hulin, Thomas; Preusche, Carsten.
A Benchmarking Suite for 6-DOF Real Time Collision Response Algorithms (Paper).
ACM VRST, 2010.

Sagardia, Mikel; Hulin, Thomas; Preusche, Carsten; Hirzinger, Gerd.
A Benchmark of Force Quality in Haptic Rendering (Poster). Human Computer Interaction International, 2009.

Hulin, Thomas; Sagardia, Mikel; Artigas, Jordi; Schätzle, Simon; Kremer, Philipp; Preusche, Carsten.
Human-Scale Bimanual Haptic Interface (Paper). 5th International Conference on Enactive Interfaces,

Sagardia, Mikel; Hulin, Thomas;  Preusche, Carsten; Hirzinger, Gerd.
Improvements of the Voxmap-PointShell Algorithm - Fast Generation of Haptic Data-Structures (Paper). Internationales Wissenschaftliches Kolloquium, 2008.


Best Video Award Finalist on the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2014.

Best Paper Award on the 5th International Conference on Virtual Augmented and Mixed Reality (VAMR), 2013.

Short Paper Honorable Mention on the IEEE Virtual Reality Conference, 2012.

Second Best Diploma Thesis Prize by the Association of Engineers of Gipuzkoa, 2009.

High School Excellence Award by the Basque Government, 2003.


Supervised Students

Master's Thesis

Anja Schneider. Evaluation of Haptic Human-Machine Interfaces for Virtual Reality Applications, 2015.
Examined by Prof. Klaus Bengler. Technische Universität München (TUM).

Alexander Martín. Improvement of a Multi-Body Collision Computation Framework and Its Application to Robot (Self-)Collision Avoidance, 2015.
Examined by Prof. Emilio Sánchez. Universidad de Navarra (TECNUN).

Mehmet Evren Coskun. Calibration of Virtual Contact Forces with Real Contact Scenarios, 2012.
Examined by Prof. Darius Burschka. Technische Universität München (TUM).

Manuel Fédou. Virtual Reality with Haptic Feedback for Satellite On-Orbit Servicing Simulations, 2011.
Examined by Prof. Ulrich Walter. Technische Universität München (TUM).


Bogdan Paulis
Yago Lizarribar
Nora Etxezarreta
Maialen Artano
Heyuan Wang
João Lopes e Silva
Julian Fichtner
Li Zhong
Weiwei Wang
Moritz Maier
Conor Haines
Ozan Caldiran
Markus Kornmann
Johana Constante


Last updated on Wednesday, 23 May 2018 by Mikel Sagardia