Tijn van der ZantExpert in Data Science, RobotBrains, A.I. & Machine Learning. Available.


About Me

/Who Am I

I love A.I.

I love to help people.

I love to create A.I.

I love data science and machine learning.

I love to create robot brains.

I love to talk about helping people with the best A.I., about building useful data science applications and robot brains and about the implications for society at large.

When I was ten, I dreamed that my neuropsychology books for adults I was reading were floating into my computer, an Atari 600XL with 4kb of RAM. Now I am forty and I am creating advance A.I. systems and robotic brains. I think that the Netherlands is one of the few, if not the only, country where a person can get a bachelor, master and PhD. in A.I., and that’s just what I did. I’ve worked on many different projects where we had to invent completely new systems all the way from extracting the data, creating features, perform machine learning up to making it a business applucation. I worked with a dozen different robots in several countries, with a supercomputer with 12000+ cores and very large databases. I can recommend that to anybody!

I’m also very interested in really old civilizations and I’m learning Babylonian/Akkadian at the moment. I study programming languages and I think that Haskell rules them all, though Scala and Python are maybe more practical at the moment… Nothing can beat mathematical interpretations of post-structuralist philosophy and atonal music just rules! I’m also a husband and dad of young twin boys. That’s the best job I’ve ever had 🙂

Here is a little documentary explaining some of my work. A movie is worth a million words…

And in Dutch why I think we should have a better informed
government with respect to the digital world:

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world;
the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. 

Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

- George Bernard Shaw -


/What I do

I solve hard A.I. problems using a new form of A.I. I call it: Generative A.I. Being a robot brain expert allows me to build interactive A.I. systems where man and machine work together to solve a hard problem. I use it to help companies with their big data problem by providing the best A.I. architecture for their particular problem. I am now creating new technology for robots that help older people live at home longer, happier and independently using evidence based therapies.


I create robot brains and benchmark social robots for a living. In 2006 I co-founded RoboCup@Home, which is by now the largest benchmark/competition in the field of domestic service robots with more more than 100 groups participating. If you want to create a robot, design a robot brain or benchmark robots, then you have my interest. My research has a strong focus on what I call ‘Natural Programming’. It is about using natural language to reprogram the robot behavioral architecture, or to put it otherwise, explain to the robot how to do something and then it can do it.

A.I., machine learning & Big Data

Applying a machine learning algorithm to a data set is just the first step. If you have a problem and a (large) data set, then I’m pretty confident that I know the right algorithms to get the most out of your data. My experience ranges from parsing text to images and from interactive A.I. to genetic programming and much more. After more than 15 years of working with these technologies a person can call himself an expert. For an expert, this technology is no longer magical, but predictable. Let me help you boost your company!

International Speaker

Where will robots and A.I. lead to? What can it already do for your organization? What about those care robots and therapeutic robots? Are we all going to lose our jobs to robots? What happens when robots ask for the right to vote? These and other questions do not have clear answer, but I do give talks about it. Want to hire me as an speaker, please contact me. I speak English and Dutch. Topics:

  • The history and future of robots
  • Care robots now and in the near future
  • How to build a robot brain
  • Exponential growth and A.I.
  • A robot dystopia and a robot utopia
  • The rise of the robots and post-capitalism
  • Robots & ethics
  • Transhumanism and human 2.0


19years of experience in A.I.
14year of experience with robots
7robot brain architecture designed
12288maximum amount of cores I crashed in a single second


/My entire career

Jul 1

Drs. at University of Groningen

July 2005 - December 2009

Researcher in massive parallel machine learning on supercomputers. My PhD. topic was on the principles of Generative Artificial Intelligence, which is a new way of creating intelligent machines: 'AI using AI to improve on itself'.

Student at University of Utrecht

1996 - 2003

Received my bachelor and master degree in A.I. with an 8 out of 10 for my thesis and a 9 out of 10 for my research.

Sep 1
May 2

Visionary Bro at Brobotix

May 2015 - Present

A robot startup where we develop a robot to assist older people with dementia and their informal caregivers. Very exciting! We've got a business case for robots...

Professor at University of Applied Sciences Windesheim

August 2013 - August 2015

Professor in Industrial and Care Robotics. My focus is mainly on the caring robots part.

Aug 15
Jun 22

Trustee member at RoboCup Federation

June 2012 - Present

As a Trustee of the RoboCup Federation one is responsible for the entire federation. My focus is on RoboCup@Home, of which I am one of the two co-founders. @Home specializes in social and domestic service robots.

Founding director at Assistobot

January 2012 - September 2014

Assistobot Logo
Assistobot was developing a care robot. The company stopped in 2014 because the robot was too expensive, although well received.

Jan 1
Oct 1

Director of Cognitive Robotics Laboratory at University of Groningen

October 2010 - October 2014

Cognitive Robotics Laboratory, involved in research and teaching.

Founding Director at AIMLearn

March 2010 - Present

AIMLearn is a company specializing in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. It offers consultancy and implementations to industrial problems. AIMLearn creates tailor made solutions for real world problems regarding sensor-data analysis, non-linear problem solving, machine control, pattern recognition, data mining, robotics and more.

Mar 1
Jan 1

Postdoc at INSERM U846, Lyon, France

January 2010 - July 2010
Coordination of the software for the iCub robot and manager of a RoboCup@Home team.

RoboCup Executive at RoboCup Federation

June 2006 - June 2012

An executive of the RoboCup Federation is responsible for a certain league. I am responsible for the RoboCup@Home league which is the largest home robotics initiative with app. 100+ teams from 25+ countries participating in this research effort.

Jun 23
Sep 1

Research Manager at Fraunhofer Institute

September 2003 - October 2004

Teaching robotic brain development at the University and manage/develop a soccer playing robot team.

research assistant at Philips

2002 - 2003

Philips logo(1)
Making soccer robots learn in real-time, also during the competition!

Sep 10