Prof. Dr. Karsten Berns has studied computer science with a special focus on artificial intelligence at the University of Kaiserslautern (1982 to 1988). For his research on “Neural Networks for the Control of a six-legged Walking Machine” he received his PhD from the University of Karlsruhe in 1994. As head of the IDS (Interactive Diagnosis and Service Systems) department of the FZI Research Center for Information Technology, Karlsruhe (till 2003) he examined adaptive control concepts for different types of service robots. Since 2003 he is a full professor at the University of Kaiserslautern.
His present research activities are realization of reliable, complex autonomous robotic systems. In this regard, he and his research group are developing a robotic middleware, namely Finroc, a behavior-based control architecture, iB2C, as well as different validation and verification methodologies. The main application area is off-road robotics, in which autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles like small trucks, excavators, harvesters, tractors, and rescue robots are under development.
Prof. Berns is a frequent reviewer of several journals and robotic conferences. Furthermore, he is a member of a number of editorial boards. He also acts as a reviewer for several national and international funding organizations. He is a member of the IEEE, the Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI) and the CLAWAR Association. He is a member of the executive committee of the German Robotics Association (DGR) and is leader of the technical committee for robotic systems of the GI. He has also served as a Dean of the department of computer science at the University of Kaiserslautern (2007-2010). He is a member of the scientific directorate Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz Center for Informatics of the Dagstuhl Seminar. Currently, he is the spokesperson of the Center for Commercial Vehicle Technology (ZNT) at the University of Kaiserslautern.