Associate Professor
KOVAN Research Lab.
Computer Engineering Dept.
Middle East Technical University
Dumlupinar Bulvari, 06800
Ankara, Turkey
Phone: +90 312 2105539


I am interested in developing autonomous robot systems. I founded the KOVAN Research Lab. in 2002 and have been its director since then. My research focused on the development and control of swarm robotic systems and on the learning of affordances and concepts in language in robots. In 2009 I was awarded a free 53-DOF iCub humanoid robot platform by the RobotCub project to support my research in cognitive robotics.
I received my PhD in Cognitive and Neural Systems from Boston University in 2000, after getting my BSc and MSc in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bilkent University, and Computer Engineering from Middle East Technical University in 1991 and 1995 respectively. Before assuming my current position, I worked as a Chief Scientist at the  Starlab Research Laboratories, Belgium, and as a post-doc at IRIDIA of Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, for the Swarm-bots project coordinated by Prof. Marco Dorigo. I visited the Personal Robotics Lab., and Manipulation Lab. of Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University between 2013-2015 as a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellow through the project ITHRUI (Towards Better Robotic Manipulation: Improvement through Interaction).

Check some of my papers:


Edited books and special issues
Swarm Intelligence LNCS6234 Epirob2010 Swarm Intelligence LNCS4433 LNCS3342 Autonomous Robots

Acknowledgement: Funding for my research has been provided by:

Marie Curie
FP7 robotcub TUBITAK