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Wolfgang Merkt

Senior Researcher

Biography

Wolfgang Merkt completed a PhD at the University of Edinburgh, where he focused on efficient trajectory optimisation formulations for online replanning in response to dynamic changes. In particular, he explored warmstart initialisation from experience to allow algorithms to scale to high-dimensional scenarios and real-world applications in complex, dynamic, and shared environments. After that, Wolfgang was a postdoc in the same research group working on the EU Horizon 2020 project Memory of Motion (MEMMO).
Wolfgang joined the Dynamic Robot Systems group (DRS) as a post-doctoral researcher in February 2020. He is working with Dr Ioannis Havoutis and leads the locomanipulation research theme focusing on planning and Model-Predictive Control for legged mobile manipulation systems. Wolfgang was a key contributor to the ESPRC/UKRI ORCA and EU Horizon 2020 MEMMO projects.

Recent Publications

A feasibility-driven approach to control-limited DDP

Mastalli C, Merkt W, Marti-Saumell J, Ferrolho H, Sola J et al. (2022), Autonomous Robots, 46(8), 985-1005

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BibTeX View PDF
@article{afeasibilitydri-2022/9,
  title={A feasibility-driven approach to control-limited DDP},
  author={Mastalli C, Merkt W, Marti-Saumell J, Ferrolho H, Sola J et al.},
  journal={Autonomous Robots},
  volume={46},
  pages={985-1005},
  publisher={Springer},
  year = "2022"
}

Next steps: learning a disentangled gait representation for versatile quadruped locomotion

Mitchell A, Merkt W, Geisert M, Gangapurwala S, Engelcke M et al. (2022), 2022 International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 10564-10570

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@inproceedings{nextstepslearni-2022/7,
  title={Next steps: learning a disentangled gait representation for versatile quadruped locomotion},
  author={Mitchell A, Merkt W, Geisert M, Gangapurwala S, Engelcke M et al.},
  booktitle={International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2022)},
  pages={10564-10570},
  year = "2022"
}

Where should I look? Optimized gaze control for whole-body collision avoidance in dynamic environments

Finean MN, Merkt W & Havoutis I (2021), IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 7(2), 1095-1102

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BibTeX View PDF
@article{whereshouldiloo-2021/12,
  title={Where should I look? Optimized gaze control for whole-body collision avoidance in dynamic environments},
  author={Finean MN, Merkt W & Havoutis I},
  journal={IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters},
  volume={7},
  pages={1095-1102},
  publisher={IEEE},
  year = "2021"
}

Simultaneous scene reconstruction and whole-body motion planning for safe operation in dynamic environments

Finean MN, Merkt W & Havoutis I (2021), Proceedings of the 2021 IEEE International Workshop on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)

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@inproceedings{simultaneoussce-2021/12,
  title={Simultaneous scene reconstruction and whole-body motion planning for safe operation in dynamic environments},
  author={Finean MN, Merkt W & Havoutis I},
  booktitle={2021 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS)},
  year = "2021"
}

Memory Clustering Using Persistent Homology for Multimodality- and Discontinuity-Sensitive Learning of Optimal Control Warm-Starts

Merkt WX, Ivan V, Dinev T, Havoutis I & Vijayakumar S (2021), IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ROBOTICS, 37(5), 1649-1660

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BibTeX View PDF
@article{memoryclusterin-2021/10,
  title={Memory Clustering Using Persistent Homology for Multimodality- and Discontinuity-Sensitive Learning of Optimal Control Warm-Starts},
  author={Merkt WX, Ivan V, Dinev T, Havoutis I & Vijayakumar S},
  journal={IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ROBOTICS},
  volume={37},
  pages={1649-1660},
  year = "2021"
}

Inverse dynamics vs. Forward dynamics in direct transcription formulations for trajectory optimization

Ferrolho H, Ivan V, Merkt W, Havoutis I & Vijayakumar S (2021), Proceedings of the 2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 12752-12758

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BibTeX View PDF
@inproceedings{inversedynamics-2021/10,
  title={Inverse dynamics vs. Forward dynamics in direct transcription formulations for trajectory optimization},
  author={Ferrolho H, Ivan V, Merkt W, Havoutis I & Vijayakumar S},
  booktitle={2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)},
  pages={12752-12758},
  year = "2021"
}

A passive navigation planning algorithm for collision-free control of mobile robots

Tiseo C, Ivan V, Merkt W, Havoutis I, Mistry M et al. (2021), Proceedings of the 2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 8223-8229

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@inproceedings{apassivenavigat-2021/10,
  title={A passive navigation planning algorithm for collision-free control of mobile robots},
  author={Tiseo C, Ivan V, Merkt W, Havoutis I, Mistry M et al.},
  booktitle={2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)},
  pages={8223-8229},
  year = "2021"
}

Sparsity-inducing optimal control via differential dynamic programming

Dinev T, Merkt W, Ivan V, Havoutis I & Vijayakumar S (2021), Proceedings of the 2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 8216-8222

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BibTeX View PDF
@inproceedings{sparsityinducin-2021/10,
  title={Sparsity-inducing optimal control via differential dynamic programming},
  author={Dinev T, Merkt W, Ivan V, Havoutis I & Vijayakumar S},
  booktitle={2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)},
  pages={8216-8222},
  year = "2021"
}

Predicted composite signed-distance fields for real-time motion planning in dynamic environments

Finean M, Merkt W & Havoutis I (2021), Proceedings of the Thirty-First International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling, 616-624

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BibTeX
@inproceedings{predictedcompos-2021/8,
  title={Predicted composite signed-distance fields for real-time motion planning in dynamic environments},
  author={Finean M, Merkt W & Havoutis I},
  booktitle={International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS 2021)},
  pages={616-624},
  year = "2021"
}

Residual force polytope: Admissible task-space forces of dynamic trajectories

Ferrolho H, Merkt W, Tiseo C & Vijayakumar S (2021), ROBOTICS AND AUTONOMOUS SYSTEMS, 142

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BibTeX View PDF
@article{residualforcepo-2021/8,
  title={Residual force polytope: Admissible task-space forces of dynamic trajectories},
  author={Ferrolho H, Merkt W, Tiseo C & Vijayakumar S},
  journal={ROBOTICS AND AUTONOMOUS SYSTEMS},
  volume={142},
  number={ARTN 103814},
  year = "2021"
}
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