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Jorn Malzahn

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Humanoids & Human Centered Mechatronics


IIT Central Research Labs Genova


Via Morego 30
+39 010 2896 598
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Photo: Körber-Stiftung / David Ausserhofer

Jörn Malzahn received his Diploma in electrical engineering from TU Dortmund University as the best of the year in 2008. In 2014 he received the Doctorate in Engineering (Dr.-Ing.) with distinction (summa cum laude) from the Institute of Control Theory and Systems Engineering (RST) of TU Dortmund University. The dissertation entitled:

"Modeling and Control of Multi-Elastic-Link Robots under Gravity – From Oscillation Damping and Position Control to Physical Interaction"

Print version: Fortschritt-Berichte VDI Reihe 8 Nr. 1237. Düsseldorf: VDI Verlag 2014
ISBN 978-3-18-523708-9
Online version

Videos on YouTube

has been selected as award finalist for Germany's most important dissertations of the year 2015 by the Körber Stiftung ("Deutscher Studienpreis für die wichtigsten Dissertationen des Jahres"). In January 2015 he joined the Advanced Robotics Group at IIT.

Jörn Malzahn is member of the program committee of the bi-annual German mechatronics conference "VDI Mechatronik" and the annual IFToMM D-A-CH Conference. He chaired the 1st IFToMM D-A-CH Conference in 2015. Moreover, he serves as associate editor for the IEEE International Conference on Multi-sensor Fusion and Integration for Intelligent Systems (MFI) and was co-chair of the 9th Human-Friendly Robotics Workshops 2016 in Genoa. He organized the IEEE/RSJ IROS 2016 Workshop “Mechatronics behind Force/Torque Controlled Robot Actuation: Secrets and Challenges", the IEEE/RSJ IROS 2017 Workshop On the Energetic Economy of Robotics and Biological Systems: A challenging handicap to overcome,  as well as the ICRA 2018 Workshop "On Criteria, Metrics and Experiments for Design, Selection and Comparison" and the IEEE/RSJ IROS 2019 Workshop on the "Development of Agile Robots". He currently serves as a guest editor for the joint topic on "Advances in Mechatronics and Biomechanics towards Efficient Robot Actuation" in the Frontiers Journals "Bioengineering and Biotechnology" as well as "Frontiers in Robotics and AI" and serves as a reviewer for international journals and conferences such as T-RO, T-MECH, RAM, RSS, RAL, RAM, ICRA and IROS.

His research interests are bio-inspired mechatronics, cognitive and modular robots with an emphasis on force/torque controlled actuation towards a new generation of energy efficient, powerful and yet sensitive robots.

Several tools developed during his work are available online as open sources:

The Compliant Joint Toolbox

Code Generation Module in the Robotics Toolbox by Peter Corke

Efficiency analysis of Series Clutched Actuation

FloBaRoID - A Framework for dynamical system identification of floating-base rigid body tree structures

MERIt - a Multi-Elastic link Robot Identification Dataset 


Finalist "Deutscher Studienpreis für die wichtigsten Dissertationen des Jahres" (transl: Award for the most important dissertations of the year), Körber Stiftung, 2015 (link)



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