As automation becomes more flexible, mobile robot systems are being implemented in more and more areas of industry. This development places high demands on their navigation systems.
Innovative service robots are developed on the basis of a broad spectrum of key technologies. Fraunhofer IPA develops innovative, practicable solutions both for control software and sensors as well as for robot hardware .
Thanks to their ability to navigate autonomously and safely, especially among people, mobile service robots can be implemented in everyday environments. To execute complex assistive tasks, autonomous and collision-free (mobile) manipulation abilities of the robots play an increasingly important role.
New sensors and processes enable real-time environment monitoring in a three-dimensional space. They are used not only to prevent collisions during manipulation but also to identify objects or object classes to be handled in the surroundings. With the application environments being highly dynamic, flexibility of the processes is essential, for example to respond quickly to new object models.
Despite new hardware components being developed for service robots, it is still very difficult to attain the degree of flexibility required. One approach is to develop new integrated drive concepts. To enable safe interaction with humans, new lightweight robots and soft robotic solutions are needed that also comply with rising demands for more affordable hardware.
Before a technical solution for safe human-robot interaction can be implemented in practice, it also has to comply with relevant European norms and guidelines. The conformity of these solutions requires appropriate validation and verification.