Research and Development in Robotic Systems

Mobile Manipulators for Material Logistics and Handling

Innovative Autonomous and Intuitively Operated Service Robot for Efficient Handling and Logistics (ISABEL)

Industrial robotics has been making a significant contribution to manufacturers’ cost effectiveness and competiveness for decades. Service and assistive robotics also harbor significant untapped potentials in industry but the high complexity of such systems and the broad range of key technologies needed require highly developed hardware and software components in conjunction with innovative system designs and integration strategies.

The joint project ISABEL funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is focused on the application field of material logistics and handling and examining fetch-and-carry tasks in work areas and environments shared with humans. Priorities are capabilities of autonomous picking and placing at stations and loading and removal of parts at machinery. Concretely, this is being done for the applications “semiconductor manufacturing” and “life science automation”.

The consortium’s members are KUKA Laboratories GmbH (coordinator, system integration), Infineon Technologies AG (semiconductor manufacturing use scenario), the Center for Life Science Automation at the University of Rostock (life science use scenario), macio GmbH (user interface), and the FZI Research Center for Information Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (planning algorithms and execution). The Fraunhofer IFF is in charge of sensor systems and perception. 

© Fraunhofer IFF

The Fraunhofer IFF is developing novel systems for object recognition and localization using light-field cameras.

A key technology for mobile manipulators is the capability to perceive their environment. Detection of the presence of relevant handled objects and precise localization of them are indispensable to the engineering of flexible pick-and-place-operations. In this project, the Fraunhofer IFF is developing large-area light-field cameras for such fields of application for the first time. This concept will make it possible to improve algorithms for object recognition and localization. 

Funded by
Program: ICT 2020, Service Robotics
Project management agency: DLR PT-SW

Project period: January 2013 to December 2015