What is the objective of the Autonomous Systems Group?

The Autonomous Systems Group conducts cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research to enable the intelligence necessary for robot autonomy in dynamic environments shared with humans.

To address the challenges of such environments, we develop dependable systems and ensure their safety and security by combining research from artificial intelligence, human-robot interaction, and intelligent manipulation.

What is RoboCup and what do the b-it-bots teams do?

RoboCup is an annual competition at which robots compete by performing tasks in different leagues. Each league focuses on tasks in a different robotics domain, such as service robotics, industrial robotics, logistics robotics, search-and-rescue robotics, and football.

Our university has participated in RoboCup since 2002. We are proud to host two teams at our university, which participate in two different leagues: the b-it-bots@Home team competes in the league for domestic robots (the @Home league), while the b-it-bots@Work team competes in the league for industrial robots (the @Work league). Both of our teams have been very successful in their respective leagues over the years.

Participating in competitions is one of many objectives of our b-it-bots teams. In particular, many of our master’s students work on R&D projects related to the teams’ activities and many of our PhD students are also active members.

I am interested in applying to the MAS program. Where do I find more information about the application requirements and procedure?

The application process for our program and the application requirements are described at length on our university page. Please take the time to read that page carefully. Contact pointers in case of doubts are also provided there.

I would like to do an internship under the guidance of one of the professors. What should I do?

In principle, we do not accept external interns in our group; available internship opportunities are reserved for the current MAS students. External students are encouraged to apply to the MAS program instead.

An exception to this would be (undergraduate) students at Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg who would like to do an internship in the b-it-bots teams, provided that a member of the group expresses interest to supervise the intern (depending on the internship, the supervision might be done a PhD student in the group, not necessarily a professor).

How many students does the MAS program have?

The MAS program is highly competitive, so our batches are usually rather small, with at most 25 new students every semester.

How international is the MAS program?

Our program is as international as a program can be. Throughout the years, we have had students from over 50 countries studying in the program.

Are there any funding opportunities for students of the MAS program?

There is no direct funding that would cover the complete course of study. Our students can however apply for various scholarships to support their studies. Some additional information about funding opportunities can also be found on this page of the Department of Computer Science, but some of the options there may be limited to enrolled students and/or German nationals.

Note that the living costs for students in Germany are usually around 850 to 1000 EUR/month. Please also note that international students from outside the EU who are not funded by a full scholarship need a blocked account with, as it stands now, 10236€, an amount that serves as a security deposit.

Our best students generally also get an opportunity to do student jobs at the university (e.g. as part of the ongoing projects or as tutors for specific courses). Such jobs are generally not offered before the end of the first semester (to ensure that such a job would not be interfering with the student’s academic performance). Note, however, that we really recommend that you do not have any job at all if possible. The program is quite intensive and you will find you need to spend quite a bit of time working on it, which will be more difficult if you also have a job on the side.

I want to do a PhD after finishing my master’s studies; however, I’ve heard that students with a master’s degree from a Hochschule cannot do a PhD. Is this true?

No, that is most definitely not true; in fact, more than 40% of our students go on to pursue a PhD. Several of our alumni remain with us and work on joint PhD projects with external advisers (a list of ongoing PhD projects in our group can be found on the People page), while others move on to other universities and do their PhD projects there – both in Germany and abroad (USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, and around Europe). The Autonomous Systems program is very research-oriented (as evidenced by our many publications) and fully equips students to continue doing a PhD. Our university also has a Graduate Institute that helps in contacting and finding partners at other traditional universities who can award PhD degrees.

I would like to work in industry after I finish my studies. What are my future prospects as an alumnus of the MAS program?

Many of our graduates go on to work at companies such as Siemens, Kuka, GPS, and Bosch, and of course in the German Automotive industry. Others have gone on to research institutes such Fraunhofer and DFKi. A couple have even started their own successful robotics companies back in their native countries. To the best of our knowledge, none of our graduates are unemployed.

What is the famous MAS party?

We are a tightly-knit community, especially given the international nature of our program. It is thus our tradition to organise a party (usually once every semester), where students, staff, faculty and alumni, as well as their loved ones and even external supervisors, bring some home-made food from their country. The party gives everyone a chance to share their culture and experience in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.

I am already a student. Where do I find information about the workflows and procedures in the program?

Information about all study-related formalities can be found on our Vital Information LEA page.