Welcome to my research website!

Mini biography


I was born in Prague, Czech Republic. I received my Mgr. (M.Sc.) degree in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence at Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2006. Between 2006 and 2013 I completed my PhD degree and then served as senior research associate at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, University of Zurich, Switzerland (Prof. Rolf Pfeifer). In May 2013 I joined
the iCub Facility of the Italian Institute of Technology with Prof. Giorgio Metta. Between 2014 and 2016 I was supported by a Marie Curie Experienced Researcher Fellowship iCub Body Schema.

In January 2017, I joined the Department of Cybernetics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering
Czech Technical University in Prague where I'm leading a small team (see the group website) dedicated to investigating the mechanisms of body and peripersonal space representations and the applications thereof in robotics: automatic self-calibration and physical human-robot interaction (supported by the Czech Science Foundation "starting" Grant).

Research interests


My main research interest is embodied cognition. In particular, I am interested in the mechanisms underlying body representations and sensorimotor contingencies in humans and their implications for increasing the autonomy, resilience and robustness of robots.

Please see the Research tab for more information.

News

    9.11.2017: I will give a talk to the public at the Science and Technology week on 10.11.2017.
    14.9.2017: Zdenek Straka and Matej Hoffmann were awarded ENNS Best Paper Award at 26th International Conference on Artificial Neural Networks (ICANN17) for their paper Learning a Peripersonal Space Representation as a Visual-Tactile Prediction Task.
   25.7.2017: I'm participating in the IIT team that is among the 5 finalists of the KUKA Innovation Award 2018: Real-World Interaction Challenge.
   20.7.2017: Our robot homunculus featured in the Italian magazine Focus and iCub YouTube channel (extended version in our channel). The article is available here: [early access - IEEE Xplore][postprint-pdf].
  18.4.2017: A 4-page cover story about humanoid robotics in Respekt 16/2017 (a major Czech weekly journal; larger section available for free at ihned.cz.). Matej Hoffmann and Zdenek Straka interviewed and photographed with robots. A video, plus coverage of the rescue robots in the online addition to the story.
16.1.2017: I will give a talk at the Society for Cognitive Science and Philosophy seminar: 24.1. 18:00 at Philosophical Faculty (seminar page). 
2.1.2017: I'm starting my new appointment at Dept. Cybernetics, CTU Prague!
28.6.2016: I'm co-organizing a Workshop on development of body representations at ICDL-Epirob 2016.
5.6.2016: Interviews about my research in Pravda newspaper and Dennik N (both in Slovak).
4.5.2016: Tomorrow, Scientific Cafe with two other Marie Curie fellows: Humans & machines in equilibrium.
10.4.2016: Slides (English) and video (Czech/Slovak) from talk at Bratislava robotics seminar available.
1.1.2016: Talk from BICA 2015, Lyon, is online: link.
23.10.2015: The iCub and the iCub Body Schema project live at Festival della Scienza, Genova.
24.10.2014: Our work on iCub kinematic calibration through self-touch was featured in IEEE spectrum: link.