Wolfram Burgard (*1961 Gelsenkirchen) received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize for his work in the area of Autonomous Intelligent Systems/Robotics.
Prof. Dr. Wolfram Burgard, Department of Computer Science of the University of Freiburg, Autonomous Intelligent Systems. (http://www.informatik.uni-freiburg.de/~burgard/)
After studying computer science in Dortmund, Wolfram Burgard initially remained there as an assistant before pursuing a doctorate in Bonn, which he completed in 1991. He then spent a time at the Carnegie Mellon University conducting research. In 2006 he was offered a chair at the Department of Computer Science in Freiburg. In addition to his prize-winning research, Burgard is also involved in other projects in the field of robotics – for example, he developed the first robotic museum guide for an international museum project. (Source: MWK BW)
Burgard’s most groundbreaking work has been in the area of probabilistic robotics, where he has developed an efficient means of estimating the position and orientation of a mobile robot efficiently even without knowledge of its initial position. It was previously thought that an approach of this kind would not be practicable. On the one hand, Burgard’s research is highly theoretical in nature, yielding fundamental insignt into the orientational abilities of robots. On the other hand, his findings have had significant impact on the engineering development of robots. (Source: DFG)