Curriculum VitaE

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Dr. Sahin received his PhD in Cognitive and Neural Systems from Boston University in 2000, after getting his BSc and MSc in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bilkent University, and Computer Engineering from Middle East Technical University in 1991 and 1995 respectively. He joined Starlab Research Laboratories, Belgium, as a Chief Scientist in 2000 before moving to IRIDIA of Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, after its bankruptcy in 2001. At IRIDIA, Dr. Sahin worked as a post-doctoral researcher for the Swarm-bots project (funded within FP5 under Future and Emerging Technologies) coordinated by Prof. Marco Dorigo. During his stay, he contributed significantly to all aspects of the project from laying out the specifications and the scenarios for the robot platforms, to the coordination among partners and advising of graduate students.


Dr. Sahin assumed his faculty position at the Department of Computer Engineering of METU in 2002. He founded the KOVAN Research Lab. which hosts 3 faculty members and 9 graduate students at the moment. Dr. Sahin has received more than 1,200,000€ of funding through projects supported by the European Union and TUBITAK. Specifically, he has successfully completed two StREP projects within FP6 and FP7, and one TUBITAK project. In particular, he received a free iCub humanoid platform from the RobotCub consortium, after his proposal was ranked 6th among 31 proposals received worldwide.  


Dr. Sahin’s has been working in autonomous robotics since his PhD and has focused on swarm and cognitive robotics during the last decade. Besides publishing in major conferences and journals, Dr. Sahin has edited three journal special issues, two conference proceedings, two books as the proceedings of workshops (one published as the State-of-the-Art series as the “first book on swarm robotics”). He served as the Technical Program Chair on Swarm Robotics for ANTS’2010 and as the Area Chair on Multi-Robots track for AAMAS’09. He is serving as an Associate Editor for the Adaptive Behavior journal since 2008 and as Editorial Board member of the Swarm Intelligence journal since 2007. He served as Senior PC and PC member for the major conferences including ICRA, IROS, AAMAS, ANTS, HUMANOIDS, SIS, EpiRob, ICDL and AAAI. He reviews for major journals and has also served as reviewer for many national and international projects as well as project proposals.


Curriculum Vitae

Erol Sahin

Associate Professor, KOVAN Research Lab., Department of Computer Engineering Middle East Technical University 06531, Ankara, Turkey

Phone: +90-312-210 5539 Fax: +90-312-210 5545

E-mail: Web:


Ph.D., Cognitive and Neural Systems, Boston University, USA. 2000. Dissertation title: “Visual Object Localization for Mobile Robots”

M.Sc., Computer Engineering, Middle East Technical University (METU), Turkey, 1994.

B.Sc. with honours, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Bilkent University, Turkey, 1991.

Professional Experience

Associate Professor – Inter-University Council, Turkey, April 2012 - now

Assistant Professor - Dept. of Computer Engineering, METU, Ankara, Turkey ,Sep 2004 – April 2012

Lecturer - Dept. of Computer Engineering, METU, Ankara, Turkey ,Sep 2002-Sep 2004

Visiting Researcher - Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, USA. Jul - Sep 2003

Post-doctoral researcher - IRIDIA, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. 2001 – 2002.

Chief Scientist - Starlab Research Laboratories, Belgium, 2000 – 2001.

Research Assistant , Boston University Neurobotics Lab., USA, 1996 – 2000.

Teaching Assistant, Computer Engineering, METU, Turkey. 1991 - 1995

Selected Projects

TOOL (Affordance-based concept formation and tool use in humanoid robots): Funded by TUBITAK. Funding: 122,000€ Duration: Sep 2009 - Feb 2013.

iCubROSSI (Emergence of Communication in iCub through Sensorimotor and Social Interaction). This project proposal submitted to the Open Call announced by the Robotcub (Web: project was ranked 6th among 31 proposals and Dr. Sahin was awarded a 53 DOF iCub humanoid robot platform (costing 255,000€).

ROSSI (Emergence of communication in RObots through Sensorimotor and Social Interaction): A StREP project funded in FP7 within the “Cognitive Systems, Interaction, Robotics” call of ICT. Funding (METU share): 433,000€. Duration: Mar 2008 - Nov 2011, Web: .

MACS (Multi-sensory Autonomous Cognitive Systems Interacting with Dynamic Environments for Perceiving and Learning Affordances) Project: A StREP project funded by the EC in FP6 within the “Cognitive Systems” strategic objective call of IST. Funding (METU share): 307,000€ Duration: Sep 2004 - Jan 2008, Web:

MQC (Multi-Quadcopter coordination). Funded by Turkish Air Industries. Project duration: Jul 2011- Feb 2012. Funding: 20,000€

CRS (Controllable Robotic Swarms): A Career project awarded by TUBITAK. Funding: 82,000€ Duration: Apr 2005 - Apr 2010.


Invited Talks

“Towards robots that can shake and talk” at Symposium on Reading Intentions: From children to robots. Pufendorf Institute for advanced studies, Lund, Sweden. March 5-6, 2012.

“Affordances in the land of autonomous robotics” at International Workshop on Vision, Action and Language, Embodiment, Cefalu, Italy, April 19, 2011,

“Affordances: The adventures of an elephant in the land of autonomous robots” at HUMANOIDS Workshop on Object-Action Complexes: Representations for Grounding Perception by Action and Grounding of Language by Interaction, Paris, France, December 7, 2009.

“Swarm robotics and Cognitive robotics research at KOVAN Research Lab,” at Sabanci University, Turkey, December 16, 2009,

“Self-organized flocking of mobile robots” at Lisbon Workshop on New Challenges for Cooperative Robotics, Lisbon, Portugal, Oct 24-26, 2008

Honors and Awards

mediaCenter GmbH, Germany, fellowship (Aug 1996-Dec 1997)

TUBITAK NATO A-1 Ph.D. fellowship (Jan 1995 - Jan 1996)

Bilkent University fellowship (covering full tuition and a monthly stipend) (Sep 1987 - Jun 1991)

Hacı Omer Sabancı Foundation scholarship (Jan 1988 - Jun 1991)

Is Bank Award (1987)

Ranked 56th among 600,000 participants in the National University Entrance Exam (1987)

Ranked in top 0.1% among 40,000 participants in the Science High School Entrance Examination (1983)