General information

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. In addition to this, humans and robots are working much closer to one another than before. This is especially true for autonomous mobile systems, such as automated guided vehicles and mobile service robots, which are already in use today in dynamic environments. The proximity to humans demands a high level of safety and reliability. Furthermore, systems have to be able to react flexibly to changes in their environment.

Expertise and sample projects

Fraunhofer IPA has extensive experience in developing software for the navigation of autonomous systems. The software modules developed are implemented in a wide range of applications and environments, both in industry and in the public sector. Their reliability and safety in the immediate vicinity of humans has already been proven in long-term tests and applications, sometimes over a period of several years. The software components available include diverse methods for

  • Localization and mapping
  • Path planning and path control
  • Undercarriage control
  • In the area of automated guided vehicles (AGVs), Fraunhofer IPA collaborated with Bär Automation GmbH to add various sensor modalities to the previously trackguided navigation of AGVs. Also, in association with MLR System GmbH, Fraunhofer IPA implemented a landmarkbased localization system in a hospital setting as well as a tracking process for the lifting of pallets.


As your partner, Fraunhofer IPA supports you throughout the entire development of your customized navigation software:

  • Advice on the design and selection of navigation methods
  • Licensing and refinement of existing navigation modules or development of new ones
  • Integration of new navigation modules into existing vehicle controllers
  • Development of complete vehicle control systems tailored to your requirements


Cloud-based Cooperative Mobile Robot Navigation visualized with Augmented Reality

Networked Navigation for mobile Robots

Online Trajectory Optimization for Cooperative Mobile Robot Navigation


Autonomous navigation for “STR” used in the BMW Group's intralogistics

In production logistics at BMW, “Smart Transport Robots” find their way around with the help of IPA navigation software.


Free Navigation for Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)

In collaboration with BÄR Automation GmbH, Fraunhofer IPA has developed an automated guided vehicle, enabling an automotive manufacturer to design his assembly processes flexibly. Consequently, cycle times and conveyors no longer determine assembly processes. Instead, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) bring car bodies from one assembly station to the next via a lifting table.