HRL Podcast E06 | Heiko Hoffmann

Don’t Fear the Robots!

Dr. Heiko Hoffmann on the video version of the History of the Future Podcast. © 2022 HRL Laboratories.

In this episode we spoke with Dr. Heiko Hoffmann, recent manager of the Autonomous Intelligence Department within the Information and Systems Sciences Laboratory of HRL Laboratories.

Born and educated in Germany, Heiko’s postdoctoral studies took him to the University of Edinburgh and University of Southern California before landing at HRL Laboratories in in 2010. Among many accomplishments, Heiko developed a method for robotic movement generation, a new version of Dynamic Movement Primitives, that has been cited over 2000 times and used around the world in various robots. He led many innovative and successful projects during his time at HRL and we were excited to ask him about the intricacies of working with machines that learn.

Heiko’s curiosity about the automated world and the way the human mind works led to many advanced programs under his leadership. Despite the common view of robots with machine intelligence as devices that could replace humans or become our technological overlords, Heiko assured us that robots are tools that help humans and are not to be feared.

Podcast Extras

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HRL's History of the Future
Host and theme music: Shaun Mason
Production, editing, voiceover, and recording: Bryan Ferguson

HRL's History of the Future Podcast is a science-related interview program presented by HRL Laboratories in Malibu, California.
Opinions expressed by podcast guests are not necessarily those of HRL Laboratories, LLC.

HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, California ( is a corporate research-and-development laboratory owned by The Boeing Company and General Motors specializing in research into sensors and materials, information and systems sciences, applied electromagnetics, and microelectronics. HRL provides custom research and development and performs additional R&D contract services for its LLC member companies, the U.S. government, and other commercial companies.

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