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Dr.-Ing. Thomas Hulin

DLR German Aerospace Center
Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics

Thomas Hulin heads the Telemanipulation Research Group at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). His research interests include haptics (control, devices, and algorithms), telerobotics, physical human-robot interaction, robot visualization, augmented reality, and skill transfer. He is co-author of more than 60 peer-reviewed scientific articles in international journals, books and conferences. He was granted 9 patents and is co-inventor of the robotic systems HUG and SwarmRail, and of the interaction devices CoaxHaptics, VibroTac S, and FingerTac. He has served as an Associate Editor for IEEE since 2019 (IEEE ICRA 2020 and 2021, IEEE WHC 2021, RA-L since 2021).



I am delighted to have been invited to speak at the "CRC Hybrid Societies' Summer School". I reveal how to go "Beyond Transparency in Telerobotics".
I am honoured being invited as a guest speaker on the RSS'22 workshop on "Toward Robot Avatars: Perspectives on the ANA Avatar XPRIZE Competition". I present our "model-augemented teleoperation"-concept and show the long journey towards this novel approach.
We present for the first time our mobile overhead robot SwarmRail in a live demonstration at the Automatica trade fair.
Our "Science Robotics" article about the telerobotics space experiment Analog-1 is now online. Enjoy reading!
The German TV station MDR reports in its documentary "Einfach Genial" about our telerobotic technology in the Smile project: youtu.be/Efnx9yVR9fg.
Our patent "Manipulator" (DE 10 2019 124 358) was granted.
We could give the first live demo of the augmented haptics device FingerTac at the CeTI convention in Dresden. Many thanks for the (verbal) feedback from those who tested this novel haptic interaction device.
I have been appointed as associate editor for the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L). I look forward to serving this prestigous robotics journal.
Our patent "Robotersystem" (DE 10 2019 124 717) was granted.
Our journal paper on "Model-Augmented Haptic Telemanipulation" got published at Frontiers in Robotics and AI and is freely accessible. Many thanks to the reviewers for their great support. Enjoy reading!
Our patent "Robotersystem" (DE 10 2020 103 303) was granted.
I have been appointed as associate editor for the IEEE WHC 2021. I look forward to serving the world's leading haptics conference.
I have been appointed as associate editor for the IEEE ICRA 2021. I look forward to serving this prestigious robotics conference.
We are looking for another excellent student in mechanical engineering, who wants to join our SwarmRail-Team to develop novel innovative mobile robotic platforms for the factory of the future. Further information can be found at rmc.dlr.de/swarmrail.
Today, I presented our new exciting augmented-haptics device FingerTac at the HCII2020. Enjoy reading the paper.
It is great to see that some online news sites have reported about our SwarmRail system:
- IEEE Spectrum Video Friday
- heise online
- Robotic Gizmos
- Robot Enthusiast
- Technology in Business
- EN24
Martin presented our novel SwarmRail-system at the virtually held ICRA conference. Enjoy watching the SwarmRail video on youtube and reading the paper.
ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano today successfully carried out a telerobotic experiment and took control of an ESA rover from the space station ISS. Our telemanipulation control framework provided stable haptic feedback during the task:
We are looking for students who want to build a novel mobile robot platform for the factory of the future. Further information can be found at rmc.dlr.de/swarmrail.
It is a great honor to have been appointed as associate editor for the IEEE ICRA 2020. I look forward to supporting the world's largest robotics conference.
The IEEE-Spectrum included our haptic device HUG on their Video Friday.
The IROS-workshop on "Legacy Disruptors in Applied Telerobotics" was accepted. I will contribute with a talk on "Control Concepts for VR-Based Haptic Telemanipulation".
Our patent "Robotersystem" (DE102017215166) was granted.
Our paper on "Reconstructing Human Hand Pose and Configuration using a Fixed-Base Exoskeleton" got accepted or publication on the ICRA conference. We thank the reviewers for their valuable comments.
The Center for Tactile Internet (CeTI) is now alive. Looking forward to an inspiring collaboration.
Our paper on "Space Factory 4.0 - New processes for the robotic assembly of modular satellites on an in-orbit platform based on Industrie 4.0 approach" was presented on the International Astronautical Congress (IAC).
Our paper on "Inertial Properties in Haptic Devices: Non-Linear Inertia Shaping vs. Force Feedforward" got accepted for publication on the SYROCO conference. We thank the reviewers for their valuable comments.



  • CeTI: Centre for Tactile Internet with Human-in-the-Loop, Cluster of Excellence at TU Dresden
  • Space Factory 4.0: In-orbit factory for building small satellites (Förderkennzeichen: 50RP1712)
  • STAMAS: Smart technology for artificial muscle applications in space (European Project FP7-SPACE-2012-312815)
  • VR-OOS: Virtual Reality for On-Orbit Servicing
  • VibroTac: A Versatile Vibrotactile Feedback Device for the Wrist
  • Haptic rendering for virtual assembly verification
    Partners: VR-Lab of the Volkswagen AG, Fraunhofer IGD
  • EU Network of Excellence: Enactive Interfaces (European Project FP6-IST-2004-002114)
  • Skills: Multimodal Interfaces for Capturing and Transfer of Skill (European Project FP6-IST-2005-035005FP6-IST-035005)


Fields of Interest
Control theory for haptic rendering Human machine interfaces (video) Virtual product development (video) Robot simulation and visualization Skill transfer Haptic rendering algorithms



Paper Awards

Innovation Awards

Technology Transfer Awards

  • S. Schätzle, B. Weber, T. Hulin, N. Sporer: VibroTac - Tactile Access to the
    World, EuRobotics Tech Transfer Award finalist 2015


In the Media


Patents and Patent Applications
  • M. Panzirsch, T. Hulin, N. Bechtel: "Regelungsverfahren für die Teleaktuierung, Aktuatorsystem und Roboter", DE 10 2022 118 180 (patent pending)
  • M. Görner, T. Hulin, R. Weitschat: "Robotorsystem", DE 10 2021 115 547 (patent pending)
  • T. Hulin, M. Görner, R. Weitschat: "Omnidirektionales Rad und Robotersystem", DE 10 2020 133 383 (patent pending)
  • T. Hulin, M. Görner: "Robotersystem", DE 10 2020 103 303 (granted)
  • F. Grimmel, F. Benedikt, M. Görner, T. Hulin, B. Pleintinger: "Robotersystem", DE 10 2019 124 717 (granted)
  • T. Hulin, B. Pleintinger: "Manipulator" DE 10 2019 124 358 (granted)
  • S. Schätzle, T. Hulin: "Orientierungshilfe für eine Person mit eingeschränktem Sehvermögen" DE 10 2018 107 970 (granted)
  • M. Görner, T. Hulin: "Robotersystem", DE 10 2017 215 166 (granted)
  • T. Hulin: "Haptische Vorrichtung und Verfahren zur Regelung eines Aktors einer haptischen Vorrichtung", DE 10 2017 100 101 (granted)
  • T. Hulin, S. Schätzle: "Vorrichtung und Verfahren zum Erzeugen eines taktilen Reizes" (Aktiver Fingerhut zur Generierung taktilen Feedbacks), DE 10 2016 111 634 (granted)
  • K. Hertkorn, T. Hulin, C. Preusche: "Verfahren zum Steuern eines Roboters" (Method for controlling robot), DE 10 2012 205 279 (not granted)
  • T. Hulin, S. Jörg, J. Klodmann, R. Konietschke: "Verfahren zum Steuern eines Telemanipulations-Roboters" (Method for telemanipulating a robot), EP2602681B1 (granted)
  • T. Ende, T. Hulin, C. Preusche, S. Schätzle, T. Wüsthoff: "Orientierungshilfe für Personen mit eingeschränktem Sehvermögen" (Orientation aid for persons having limited visual faculty), DE 10 2011 076 891, EP2713983B1 (granted)

The last two in the list got already successfully licensed by industry in the scope of two technology transfers.



This is a chronological list of all my publications. You may also be interested in my short bio. You can also find me on Google Scholar and dblp.







































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Supervised Theses

  • Tjark Jonas Welter:
    Development of a Multisensory Saddle as Input Device for Teleoperation
    Bachelor's. Jade University of Applied Sciences, 2023. [elib]
  • Thomas Löw:
    Performance Measures for Bilateral Telemanipulation
    Bachelor's. Munich University of Applied Sciences, 2022. [elib]
  • Premankur Banerjee:
    ViESTac: A Multimodal VR Evaluation Suite for Novel Tactile Devices
    Master's. Technische Universität München, 2021. [elib]
  • Michael Rothammer:
    Modeling, Observing and Controlling a Cable-Suspended Aerial Manipulator as a Constrained System
    Master's. Technical University of Munich (TUM), 2021. [elib]
  • Hüseyin Tugcan Dinc:
    Development of a Parallel Spherical Robotic Mechanism as a Haptic Interaction Device for Telerobotic Applications
    Master's. Deggendorf Institute of Technology, 2020. [elib]
  • Michael Rothammer:
    Enhancement of a control approach to display high stiffness in virtual environments
    Bachelor's. Technische Universität München, 2020. [elib]
  • Suraj Giri:
    Development of a Tactile Thimble for Augmented and Virtual Reality Applications
    Master's. Universität Siegen, 2019. [elib]
  • Ferdinand Grimmel:
    Programmierung eines Mikrocontrollers zur Ansteuerung mobiler robotischer Einheiten für das SwarmRail-System
    Bachelor's. Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften München, 2019. [elib]
  • Fabian Benedikt:
    Konzeption und Konstruktion einer mobilen robotischen Einheit für das SwarmRail-System
    Bachelor's. Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften München, 2019. [elib]
  • Ricardo González Camarero:
    Dynamic Simulation and Control of Exoskeletal Devices for an Astronaut’s Hand and Leg
    Master's. CEIT and TECNUN, University of Navarra, 2014. [elib]
  • Alejandro Erick Magana Flores:
    Stability Analysis for a Surgical Simulator
    Diploma. Technische Universität Dresden, 2013. [elib]
  • Johannes Munk:
    Rotational Drive Unit for the DLR bimanual Haptic Device - Integration of Safety Features
    Technical University of Munich, 2013. [elib]
  • Martin Arbesmeier:
    Development of a Multimodal Interface for Teleoperating a Humanoid Robot for Remote Service Tasks
    Master's. Universität Regensburg, 2012. [elib]
  • Gloria Pöhler:
    Evaluierung eines VR Systems zum Erlernen von Roboter-Singularitäten
    Bachelor's. DLR, 2010. [elib]
  • Katharina Hertkorn:
    Erweiterung eines passivitätsbasierten Reglers für haptisches Rendering
    Diploma. Universität Stuttgart, 2009. [elib]
  • Mikel Sagardia:
    Enhancements of the Voxmap-PointShell Algorithm
    Diploma. Universidad de Navarra, Spain, 2008. [elib]
  • Zhongyang Wu:
    Adaption of the Inverse Kinematics of the DLR Light Weight Robot for Its Use as Haptic Device
    Master's. 2007. [elib]
  • Martin Otterbach:
    Software-Werkzeug zur Diskretierung virtueller 3D-Objekte
    Diploma. FH Esslingen, 2005. [elib]


If you also would like to work for your thesis at DLR under my supervision, please feel free to send me your application letter.


Service and Volunteer Activities


  • Associate Editor (AE) of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L) since Aug. 2021
  • Associate Editor (AE) of the IEEE ICRA 2020 and ICRA 2021
  • Associate Editor (AE) of the IEEE WHC 2021
  • Co-organizer of the IEEE WHC 2017 half-day workshop on "Haptic Methods and Technologies for Virtual Assembly Simulations", speakers: Ralf Rabätje (vr-on), Jérôme Perret (haption), Rene Weller (University of Bremen), Bernhard.Weber (DLR), Thomas Hulin (DLR)
  • Organizer of the IEEE WHC 2017 lab tour at DLR
  • Member of the Programme Committee of the GI VR/AR 2015 and 2016
  • Member of the editorial board for the Institute website (since 2013)

Invited Peer-Reviewer for

  • IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO)
  • IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology (TCST)
  • IEEE Transactions on Haptics (ToH)
  • IEEE Transactions on Mechatronics (TMECH)
  • IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L)
  • International Journal of Robotics Research
  • Advances in Engineering Software
  • numerous international conferences and symposia in the fields of robotics, control, haptics, virtual reality, mechatronics, and mathematical modelling.


Useful Stuff

Here is a short list of useful stuff that I implemented during my research activities.




Last updated on Wednesday, 26 April 2023 by Dr.-Ing. Thomas Hulin