Simon Stepputtis


I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, where I am part of the Advanced Agent-Robotics Technology Lab led by Prof. Katia Sycara. As part of the lab, I mainly work on Human-Agent Teaming and Machine Learning, investigating how humans and robots can efficiently collaborate in complex scenarios by analyzing the underlying concepts of trust and coordination. Before this, I received a B.Sc and M.Sc. in Engineering and Computing from the TU Bergakademie Freiberg in Germany and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Arizona State University. During my Ph.D., I worked in the Interactive Robotics Lab led by Dr. Heni Ben Amor.

Throughout my academic career, I have worked on bridging the gap between cognition and robotics by using modern approaches to artificial intelligence. More specifically, I have implemented natural language processing methodologies to enhance imitation learning, which received the best poster award at the Southwest Robotics Symposium 2019, award by NVIDIA, as well as a spotlight presentation at NeurIPS 2020. Recently, I am expanding on this work by incorporating Theory of Mind, modeling a user’s mental state for better collaboration. Further, I am also interested in creating trust and competence in the system by investigating human Theory of Machines, capturing how users perceive the robot they interact with.


  • Postdoctoral Fellow (2022 - now)

  • Resident @ X (Summer 2021)

    • X, The Moonshot Factory
    • As a resident at Goolge X, the moonshot factory, I worked on industrial manipulation tasks for Intrinsic, a robotics software and AI project at Google X.
  • Graduate Service Assistant (2017 - 2021)

    • Arizona State University
    • During my Ph.D., I worked as a teaching and research assistant on various occasions in the Interactive Robotics Lab led by Dr. Heni Ben Amor.


  • Ph.D. Computer Science (2017 - 2021)

    • Arizona State University, USA
    • Thesis: Multimodal Robot Learning for Grasping and Manipulation
  • M.Sc. Engineering & Computing (2015 - 2016)

    • Technische Universit├Ąt Freiberg, Germany
    • Thesis: A data-driven approach for triadic interactions in human-robot interaction
  • B.Sc. Engineering & Computing (2011 - 2015)

    • Technische Universit├Ąt Freiberg, Germany
    • Thesis: Upper body tracking for avatar visualization in HMD-based virtual reality