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Tobias Fischer

Associate Investigator and Research Fellow

Career Summary

I conduct interdisciplinary research at the intersection of intelligent robotics, computer vision, and computational cognition. My main goal is to develop high-performing, bio-inspired computer vision algorithms that simultaneously examine animals/humans and robots' perceptional capabilities. Before joining the Queensland University of Technology's Centre for Robotics as an Associate Investigator and Research Fellow in January 2020, I was a postdoctoral researcher in the Personal Robotics Lab at Imperial College London. I received a PhD from Imperial College in January 2019. My thesis was awarded the UK Best Thesis in Robotics Award 2018 and the Eryl Cadwaladr Davies Award for the best thesis in Imperial's EEE Department in 2017-2018. I previously received an M.Sc. degree (distinction) in Artificial Intelligence from The University of Edinburgh in 2014 and a B.Sc. degree in Computer Engineering from Ilmenau University of Technology, Germany, in 2013. My works have attracted two best poster awards, one best paper award, and I was the senior author of the winning submission to the Facebook Mapillary Place Recognition Challenge 2020.

Education & Employment

Associate Investigator and Research Fellow

Queensland University of Technology
Jan 2020 - now

I am QUT’s lead Research Fellow working on the MURI project “Neuroscience-Inspired Perception, Navigation, and Spatial Awareness for Robots”. The goals of this joint US/Australian interdisciplinary effort is to develop next-generation autonomous vehicles, capable of learning and on-the-fly adaptation to environmental novelty, by leveraging deep neurophysiological insights from biological organisms. In particular, I contributed neuro-inspired algorithms for visual place recognition and localisation, with a focus on neuromorphic vision sensors.

Research Associate (Post-doc)

Imperial College London
Oct 2018 - Jan 2020

I was a post-doc working on the MURI project “A Closed-Loop Multisensory BCI for Enhanced Decision Accuracy”. The goals of this joint US/UK interdisciplinary effort are to model the neural mechanisms underlying multisensory processing and decision making and to design closed-loop adaptive algorithms for brain-computer communication. In particular, we contributed algorithms that detect and respond to users’ mental workload in simulated driving environments based on their eye gaze.

M.Sc. student

University of Edinburgh
Sept 2013 - Aug 2014

I graduated with a M.Sc. in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Edinburgh. I specialised in Computational Vision; selected courses include Robotics Science and Systems, Advanced Vision, and Cognitive Vision. As a course representative, I strove to promote equality and ensure fairness for all students. I graduated with distinction, equivalent to GPA of 4.0/4.0.

  • Distinction

Visiting research scholar

York University
Oct 2012 - May 2013

I was a visiting research scholar in John Tsostos’ Lab for Active and Attentive Vision. During this time, I proposed an approach for obstacle detection and avoidance for autonomous mobile robots based exclusively on stereo vision.

B.Sc. student

Ilmenau University of Technology
Oct 2009 - Jun 2013

I graduated with a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering (Ingenieurinformatik) from the Ilmenau University of Technology. My major was in Cognitive Technical Systems. Some selected courses include Artificial Intelligence, Image Processing and Pattern Recognition, Database Systems and Softcomputing. From 2011-2013, I had been a study affairs committee member and a student representative. I graduated top of class with first class honours, equivalent to a GPA of 3.7/4.0.

  • Top of class

Awards

Facebook Mapillary Place Recognition Challenge Winner

2020

I was the senior author of the winning contribution (Hausler et al. CVPR2021) at the ECCV 2020 Workshop on Long-Term Visual Localization under Changing Conditions.

Best Thesis Award EEE Department

2020

My thesis has been recognised with the Eryl Cadwaladr Davies prize for the best thesis 2017-2018 in the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department at Imperial.

Distinguished Talent Visa

2020

Australia’s Department of Home Affairs has deemed me to be a Distinguished Talent for my “internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement”.

Best Poster Award

2018

Our paper presented at the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (Choi et al. 2018) won the best poster award at the Samsung AI Forum 2018.

Ferchau Challenge 2.0 Runner Up

2011

I managed a team of 8 that won 4,000 Euro prize money in the Ferchau Challenge 2.0 themed “IT in everyday lives” by designing a university campus app.

Top of class

2011

I was awarded the prize for being top of class sponsored by the School of Computer Science and Automation, Ilmenau University of Technology.

Reviewer activities

Journals

  • CheckIEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
  • CheckIEEE Transactions on Robotics
  • CheckInternational Journal of Social Robotics
  • CheckIEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems
  • CheckIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
  • CheckAutonomous Robots
  • CheckIEEE Transactions on Multimedia
  • CheckIEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
  • CheckFrontiers in Robotics and AI

Conferences

  • CheckIEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • CheckIEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
  • CheckEurographics
  • CheckIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems
  • CheckIEEE Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision
  • CheckIEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • CheckInternational Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN)
  • CheckBritish Machine Vision Conference