Dr. Ir. David Abbink

Professor in Haptic Human-Robot Interaction at the Department of Cognitive Robotics, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.

My main research interest is the understanding of humans, especially when they’re physically interacting with mechanical devices such as cars, planes or robotic devices. After 13 years of research I still don’t understand them… But I did learn a lot about designing and evaluating human-machine interaction, and published quite a bit on haptics, shared control, human-automation interaction, tele-operation, design and evaluation of driver support systems, modeling of drivers and pilots, neuromuscular control, system identification, and much more.

I have the pleasure of working with many inspiring scientists and students, on a number of research programmes funded by Nissan, Boeing and the Dutch Science Foundation NWO. Also, I’ve received two highly competitive personal grants: the VENI grant (2010) and the VIDI grant (2015).

Teaching is something I very much enjoy, and students seem to enjoy this as well: they’ve voted me as best teacher of my department for five consecutive years. I was selected best teacher of the faculty in 2013 and 2014, and my course The Human Controller received an international award for outstanding Open CourseWare.

I also enjoy outreach and presenting to different crowds about how humans and technology interact: from theatre performances and Gala van de Wetenschap 2015 to lectures for Universiteit van Nederland, and from a photo-comic for children to interviews on national TV programs like “Witteman Ontdekt“ and “De Volmaakte Mens“. For presentations and media appearances I’m currently represented by Bukman Management.

Apart from being a scientist, I have a not-so-secret alter ego as a drummer. I’ve recorded multiple albums, video clips and have played over 400 shows in three different continents. Other interests include traveling, philosophy, mythology, cooking and art in many of its forms.

Back to top