Hi, my name is Bernhard. I am currently a director of software engineering at Dynatrace ( Before that, I was heading the robot system technologies research group at ROBOTICS - the institute for robotics and mechatronics in Klagenfurt, Austria.

My research interests include robotics and especially software and security for modern robots. During my PhD I have engaged myself in resource-awareness for visual sensor networks, smart cameras and computer vision.

During my time in research I engaged in robot software engineering and worked on making robots secure. I also investigated into ethical issues revolving around robots and future technologies.

I have also created Hackersepp. This is a simple website that you can open on a computer that someone has left unlocked to encourage them to lock their screen. This is my very simple attempt to increase our everyday security.


  • Robot software
  • Software engineering for robotics
  • Cybersecurity for robotics
  • Robot ethics
  • Visual sensor networks


  • PhD in Information Technology, 2013

    Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt, Austria

  • DI in Applied Informatics, 2008

    Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt, Austria

Recent Publications

Cybersecurity in Robotics: Challenges, Quantitative Modeling, and Practice

Robotics is becoming more and more ubiquitous, but the pressure to bring systems to market occasionally goes at the cost of neglecting security mechanisms during the development, deployment or while in production. As a result, contemporary robotic systems are vulnerable to diverse attack patterns, and an a posteriori hardening is at least challenging, if not impossible at all. This book aims to stipulate the inclusion of security in robotics from the earliest design phases onward and with a special focus on the cost-benefit tradeoff that can otherwise be an inhibitor for the fast development of affordable systems. We advocate quantitative methods of security management and design, covering vulnerability scoring systems tailored to robotic systems, and accounting for the highly distributed nature of robots as an interplay of potentially very many components. A powerful quantitative approach to model-based security is offered by game theory, providing a rich spectrum of techniques to optimize security against various kinds of attacks. Such a multi-perspective view on security is necessary to address the heterogeneity and complexity of robotic systems. This book is intended as an accessible starter for the theoretician and practitioner working in the field.

A Cryptography-Powered Infrastructure to Ensure the Integrity of Robot Workflows

With the growing popularity of robots, the development of robot applications is subject to an ever increasing number of additional requirements from e.g., safety, legal and ethical sides. The certification of an application for compliance to such requirements is an essential step in the development of a robot program. However, at this point in time it must be ensured that the integrity of this program is preserved meaning that no intentional or unintentional modifications happen to the program until the robot executes it. Based on the abstraction of robot programs as workflows we present in this work a cryptography-powered distributed infrastructure for the preservation of robot workflows. A client composes a robot program and once it is accepted a separate entity provides a digital signature for the workflow and its parameters which can be verified by the robot before executing it. We demonstrate a real-world implementation of this infrastructure using a mobile manipulator and its software stack. We also provide an outlook on the integration of this work into our larger undertaking to provide a distributed ledger-based compliant robot application development environment.

Gamification of trust in HRI?

In this transdisciplinary paper we discuss the question whether trust in human-robot-interaction (HRI) can be gained by gamification. Therefore, the concept of credibility will be introduced. A specific focus is on the question concerning the implementation of ethical rules in robotic safety systems. With a focus on Wittgenstein as a philosopher of technology we argue that in many fields of application cultural issues play a crucial role that cannot be controlled in a top-down approach. Instead, we follow a process-oriented bottom-up understanding of trust which pays attention to different social situations of normative practices. In order to combine our transdisciplinary philosophical and engineering points of view, a model for “gamifying trust” including ethical reflection as well as a short sketch of a possible technical implementation are presented

Sichere und zuverlässige mobile Manipulation

Modern robot systems are an essential technology for the digitalization of production and value-adding processes. The goal is to allow machines to operate in a common area with humans in so-called collaborative operation without separation by physical protective devices. This feature places particularly high demands on the fulfillment of robot safety, i.e., the safety of humans when handling the machine. This article focuses on the safe and reliable industrial use of mobile manipulators which are a combination of a mobile platform and a robot arm for object manipulation. The coordinated use of both robot systems enables a variety of new application scenarios and significantly increases flexibility. Mobile manipulators, however, pose complex challenges to their industrial integration as well as to safety and security in compliance with the legal and normative framework.

A generalized Threat Model for Visual Sensor Networks

Today, visual sensor networks (VSNs) are pervasively used in smart environments such as intelligent homes, industrial automation or surveillance. A major concern in the use of sensor networks in general is their reliability in the presence of security threats and cyberattacks. Compared to traditional networks, sensor networks typically face numerous additional vulnerabilities due to the dynamic and distributed network topology, the resource constrained nodes, the potentially large network scale and the lack of global network knowledge. These vulnerabilities allow attackers to launch more severe and complicated attacks. Since the state-of-the-art is lacking studies on vulnerabilities in VSNs, a thorough investigation of attacks that can be launched against VSNs is required. This paper presents a general threat model for the attack surfaces of visual sensor network applications and their components. The outlined threats are classified by the STRIDE taxonomy and their weaknesses are classified using CWE, a common taxonomy for security weaknesses.



Head of “Robot System Technologies” group


January 2020 – September 2021 Austria

Responsibilities include:

  • Team leadership
  • Scientific advisory
  • Operative technical and scientific coordination
  • Project management

Head of “Robot Systems” group


July 2016 – December 2019 Austria

Responsibilities include:

  • Project acquisition and lead
  • Team leadership
  • Scientific advisory
  • Institute buildup
  • Project management

Senior Researcher


September 2015 – June 2016 Austria

Responsibilities include:

  • Scientific work
  • Software development
  • Project management

Software Engineer

Skiline Media GmbH

January 2014 – August 2015 Austria

Responsibilities include:

  • Software development for Skimovie Tracking System
  • Support and coordination

University Assistant

Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt, Pervasive Computing Group

February 2012 – December 2013 Austria

Responsibilities include:

  • Teaching university courses
  • Research
  • Organizational matters

Research project “Engineering proprioception in Computing Systems (EPICS)”



Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt, Pervasive Computing Group

September 2009 – February 2012 Austria
Research project “Smart resource-aware sensor network (SRSnet)”


Austrian institute of technology

April 2008 – August 2009 Austria
Research project “Multi-camera data aggregation and visualization”

Independent software engineer

January 2005 – March 2009 Austria
Working in various projects as a freelance developer



We are regularily providing software to the community as part of our work.

You can find an overview of our public projects at Github


The ROS Penetration Testing Tool can be used to explore the insecurity of the robot operating system (ROS).


Rosmap is a tool to scan dependencies and extract metrics from ROS repositories at large scale. This tool is described in our paper Can I depend on you? Mapping the dependency and quality landscape of ROS packages.

ROS message parser with ROS message grammar

The ROS message parser is more of an internal project (however, read below). It is used to generate parsers for ROS message files and ROS message definitions from the wire protocol in .net core. The however: it contains a antlr grammar file that can be used to create corresponding parser in many other programm languages. This might be useful for some.

Ella middleware

The Ella middleware was part of my work at the Alpen-Adria Universität. It is a publish-subscribe middleware written in native C#.


This is a software framework for evolutionary multi-objective optimization.

Recent Posts

Paper on Visual Sensor Network Threat model published

We have just published our generalized threat model for Visual Sensor Networks.

Robo-gym Release

Workshop on Security and Privacy in Robotics at ICRA 2020

I am co-chairing the Workshop on Privacy and Security in Robotics at ICRA2020

ROBOTICS Christmas Video 2019

ERRoSS 2020

I am very happy to co-chair the first International Workshop on Engineering Resilient Robot Software Systems (ERRoSS2020) in November …



The goal of this project is to work on the technical fundamentals to make future robots credible (that is, perceivable trustworthy). We …

Touching Robotics

This project aims to increase the public awareness and discussion on robotics. We host different events to get in touch with the public …


In CollRob (Collaborative Robotics), we are working on new methods for human-robot collaboration.


The FlexIFF project aims to bring the flexibility of modern robots and assistive systems to connected factories of the future. We focus …

Recent & Upcoming Talks

Robot Ethics @ agarPÄDAGOGICA 2020

Robot ethics and what to tell the younger generations about it

Cybersecurity for robotics at ERF2019

A look back on what happened in recent years in ROS security

Uncanny Valley panel discussion

I have been invited to join a panel discussion on ethical issues in future robots and AI. The Theater am Ortweinplatz in Graz, Austria, …

Security fundamentals and ROS security

In this talk, I give a short introduction into security fundamentals and go into depth on security issues in ROS1 and how they can be …


  • info (at)
  • Lakeside B13, Klagenfurt, 9020, Austria