About me

I am a PhD student in the Advanced Interactive Technologies lab at ETH Zurich under the supervision of Prof. Otmar Hilliges. I received my BSc (2016) and MSc (2018) in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from ETH Zürich with a focus on robotics, machine learning and control.

Research Interests

My research focuses on modeling human interactions with the physical world. Specifically, I'm researching how natural and physically plausible behavior can be integrated into generative motion models by using physics simulations and deep reinforcement learning. Furthermore, I'm investigating how these models can be leveraged in application domains such as human-robot Interactions, AR/VR, and others.

If you are interested in Semester/Master project in our group, you can check our available projects. If you have your own topic related with my research, you are welcome to contact me.

You can also find me on Twitter, Linkedin, and Google scholar.


Sammy Christen*, Lan Feng*, Wei Yang, Yu-Wei Chao, Otmar Hilliges, Jie Song * Equal contribution
International Conference on Robotics and Automation 2024 (ICRA), 2024
Hui Zhang*, Sammy Christen*, Zicong Fan, Luocheng Zheng, Jemin Hwangbo, Jie Song, Otmar Hilliges * Equal contribution
International Conference on 3D Vision 2024 (3DV), 2024
Accepted as Spotlight Presentation
International Conference on 3D Vision 2024 (3DV), 2024
Accepted as Spotlight Presentation
Sammy Christen, Wei Yang, Claudia Pérez-D'Arpino, Otmar Hilliges, Dieter Fox, Yu-Wei Chao
Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2023
Accepted as Highlight (Top 2.5%)
Andrea Ziani*, Zicong Fan*, Muhammed Kocabas, Sammy Christen, Otmar Hilliges * Equal contribution
International Conference on 3D Vision (3DV), 2022
Sammy Christen*, Lukas Jendele*, Emre Aksan, Otmar Hilliges * Equal contribution
IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (Volume: 6, Issue: 2), 2021
Accepted as Oral Presentation at the Deep RL Workshop at NeurIPS
Alexis Block, Sammy Christen, Roger Gassert, Otmar Hilliges, Katherine Kuchenbecker
ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, 2021

Academic Activities


CVPR, ICCV, ICRA, IROS, RA-L, SIGGRAPH, 3DV, Comput Methods Biomech and Biomed Eng
CVPR, ICRA, IROS, RA-L, ECCV (outstanding reviewer), SIGGRAPH Asia, Computers & Graphics


  • Invited talk at Tsinghua University
  • Started internship at Meta Reality Labs
  • Internship at NVIDIA
  • Part of the organizing committee of the Hands@ECCV workshop
  • Honored as outstanding reviewer at ECCV
  • Session Chair at ICRA 2021 for Learning-Based Motion Planning

Student Theses

Nina Schmid Semester Project
Adversarial Skill Embeddings for Controlling Physics-Based Characters with Variable Body Shapes
Luocheng Zheng Master Thesis
Two Hand Manipulation of Articulated Objects
Jona Braun Master Thesis
Physically Plausible Dynamic Full-Body Grasp Synthesis for Human-Object Interactions
Lan Feng Semester Project
Controllable Human Grasp Generation
Andrea Ziani Master Thesis
TempCLR: Reconstructing Hands via Time-Coherent Contrastive Learning
Caroline Sauget Master Thesis
Reinforcement Learning for Incentivizing Sustainable Investments
Marco Bagatella Master Thesis
SFP: State-free Priors for Exploration in Off-Policy Reinforcement Learning
Joel Neuner-Jehle Bachelor Thesis
Guiding Reinforcement Learning with Deep Saliency Prediction
Nikola Vulin Master Thesis
Learning to Control Contact Forces in Robotic Manipulation
Lukas Jendele Master Thesis
Learning Functionally Decomposed Hierarchies for Continuous Navigation Tasks


Workshop Papers

Sammy Christen*, Nina Schmid*, Otmar Hilliges * Equal contribution
Embodied AI Workshop at Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (EAI), 2023
Alexis Block, Hasti Seifi, Sammy Christen, Bernard Javot, Katherine Kuchenbecker
EuroHaptics Demo, 2022
Best Demo Award
Reinforcement Learning for Humans, Computer, and Interaction, 2021
Sammy Christen, Martin Wermelinger, Dario Bellicoso, Marco Hutter
Semester Project, 2017