Robotics

Robotics is the branch of engineering which involves the conception, design, manufacture, and operation of robots. This is a vast field that overlaps with electronics, computer science, artificial intelligence, mechatronics, nanotechnology and bio-engineering.

  • Care-O-bot® 4 celebrates its première as shopping assistant

    Paul, a member of the Care-O-bot® 4 robot family, has been greeting customers in Saturn-Markt Ingolstadt since the end of October 2016 and directing them towards their desired products. Source: Saturn

    In January 2015, Fraunhofer IPA presented a prototype of the “Care-O-bot® 4” service robot. The charming helper is now proving its worth in the real world. “Paul” the robot has been greeting customers in Saturn-Markt Ingolstadt since the end of October 2016 and directing them towards their desired products. Care-O-bot 4®, alias Paul, approaches Saturn customers and welcomes them to the store. If they ask him about a certain product, he accompanies the customer to the department and points them in the direction of the relevant shelf. As he indulges in small talk about the weather or another subject, Paul turns out to be a most charming contact partner. However, he prefers to leave actual customer service to his human colleagues.

  • Cebit 2017: A new simulation process makes complex hardware and software compatible

    Researchers in Kaiserslautern, Dr. Thomas Kuhn (left) and Matthias Jung, developed a simulation method to verify in what combination hardware and software systems function correctly together. Credit: Thomas Koziel

    Technology used in cars, aeroplanes and industrial robots is becoming increasingly complex. Can the software be extended? How does the system handle errors? More and more companies are tasked with such questions. A simulation method, developed by researchers in Kaiserslautern, will provide a solution. With this, they verify in what combination hardware and software systems function correctly together. In addition, the researchers can examine the reaction of systems critical for safety in the occurrence of errors. At the Cebit computer trade fair in Hannover, researchers will present their technology at the research stand of Federal State Rhineland-Palatinate (hall 6, stand C17).

  • Electrical Fields Drive Nano-Machines a 100,000 Times Faster than Previous Methods

    Electric fields drive the rotating nano-crane – 100,000 times faster than previous methods. Enzo Kopperger / TUM

    Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a novel electric propulsion technology for nanorobots. It allows molecular machines to move a hundred thousand times faster than with the biochemical processes used to date. This makes nanobots fast enough to do assembly line work in molecular factories. The new research results will appear as the cover story on 19th January in the renowned scientific journal Science.

  • Fraunhofer HHI presents interaction components for contactless human-machine operation

    Fraunhofer HHI presents interaction components for contactless human-machine operation at the Hannover Messe trade fair. © istockphoto.com/kynny, edit: Fraunhofer HHI

    The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI is presenting its gesture control expertise at this year’s Hannover Messe trade fair. At the Fraunhofer booth C22 in hall 2, the institute is presenting the EASY COHMO project (ergonomics assistance systems for contactless human-machine operation) aimed at overcoming the problems of human-robot interaction and cooperation. Developing interaction components for contactless, gesture-based human-machine operation is the project objective.

  • Intelligent, Clever, and with Moral Behavior - University of Freiburg opened new robotics center

    The Integrated Robotics Center offers up to 65 workspaces in its offices and laboratories. Photo: Ingeborg Lehmann

    The University of Freiburg has now opened a new robotics center as part of its Faculty of Engineering. Developing intelligent robots that can identify tasks independently, learn from humans and their surroundings, and behave morally: With this goal in mind, the University of Freiburg opened the Integrated Robotics Center as part of its Faculty of Engineering on February 17, 2017. Researchers from the fields of medicine, philosophy, biology, computer science, microsystems engineering, and law will now be working together in the new center. “The research we are doing in this new building demonstrates the unique strength of our University: Bringing together experts from different disciplines to find solutions for the complex challenges of the future,” said Rector Prof. Dr. Hans-Jochen Schiewer.

  • Magnetic Micro-boats

    Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research can use a magnetic field to determine the structure that is formed by so-called "superparamagnetic nanoparticles". MPI-P, Lizenz CC-BY-SA

    Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

  • Reprogramming of Macroscopic Self-Assembly With Dynamic Boundaries

    Figure: Dynamically moving hard boundaries confine mobile magnetic particles into reprogrammable 2D self-assembled patterns. Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems

    Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart aim to understand the underlying process of self-assembly. Their findings not only provide valuable insights into fundamental physics, but could enable the design of functional materials or self-assembled miniature robots.

    Stuttgart – Self-assembly is an autonomous process where complex and functional structures are created in a bottom-up manner by the organization of a large set of components. Each component locally interacts with the others to create patterns, often with an unknown outcome: in the end, the patterns do not necessarily have a pre-conceived design.

  • Roboter on demand: Mobiles Bearbeiten von Flugzeugteilen mit höchster Präzision

    Mobiler CNC-Roboter für die Bearbeitung von CFK-Großstrukturen. © Fraunhofer IFAM

    Im Rahmen von Industrie 4.0 hat die Luftfahrtbranche eine Automatisierungsoffensive gestartet. Weg von der individuell zugeschnittenen Sondermaschine für einen speziellen Prozess, hin zu universell einsetzbaren, mobilen Robotern. In dem Projekt »Prozesssichere hochproduktive Präzisionszerspanung von CFK-Großstrukturen (ProsihP II) « entwickelten deshalb Experten unterschiedlichster Disziplinen die mobile und hochpräzise Bearbeitung von CFK-Großbauteilen durch parallel arbeitende Roboter.

  • Rolling Into the Deep

    A microropbot rolls deep into the body. Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS)

    Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

  • ROSIN project: towards an EU Digital Industrial Platform for Robotics through Open-Source Software

    Several training sessions within Europe will be held to make ROS-Industrial more accessible and well-known. Fraunhofer IPA

    Open-Source Software for robots is a de-facto practice in academia and its advantages can also benefit industrial applications. The worldwide ROS-Industrial initiative has been using ROS, the Robot Operating System, to this end. To consolidate Europe’s dominance in advanced manufacturing, ROSIN with Fraunhofer IPA as one of the partners will push the role of the EU within ROSIndustrial to a leading position. It will achieve this through three main actions: ensuring industrial-grade software quality, promoting new business-relevant applications by providing 50% of the project’s budget for European users and developers, supporting educational activities for students and industry professionals.

  • Surgery Training with Robots and Virtual Reality

    Virtual Reality environments and robots can help surgeons prepare for challenging operations. Viktoria Stoiser

    The insertion of hip implants places high demands on surgeons. To help young doctors practice this operation under realistic conditions, scientists from the University of Bremen and Chemnitz University of Technology are developing a dynamic hip implant simulator. Users see the scene in virtual reality and operate surgical instruments connected to a robot.
    Joint press release from the University of Bremen and Chemnitz University of Technology
    The growing number of older people worldwide is leading to an increase in hip implants and other joint replacement operations. This also increases the need for highly qualified orthopedic surgeons, but the practical training of these operations is very difficult to carry out.

  • Tracking cancer’s signalling pathways

    The picture shows pigmented cells of a malignant melanoma metastasis of the occipital lobe of the brain.

    Malignant melanoma is one of the most common and dangerous types of cancer. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) investigated how and why brown pigmented moles turn into malignant melanoma using innovative robot technology. The insights gained can simplify methods of diagnosis in the future; furthermore, they suggest that certain cosmetic products and creams should be avoided. Until now, researchers only knew which genetic mutations were responsible for triggering the transformation of benign pigmented moles into malignant tumours. But little was known about what happens to proteins and signalling pathways when a malignant melanoma develops. The research group led by Prof. Dr. Andreas Baur at FAU’s Translational Research Center (TRC) have now discovered that the ADAM10 signalling pathway is activated during the transformation.