Research and Development in Robotic Systems

Assistant Robot for Lab Environments

© Fraunhofer IFF, Dirk Mahler

Assistant Robot in Life Science Company Labs (LiSA)

The joint project LiSA was supported by the BMBF as part of its program “Key Innovations: Service Robots” and supervised by the Project Management Agency Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Division Production and Manufacturing Technologies.


The objective of the project was to develop, build and test a mobile assistant robot suitable for everyday routines, which will interact with lab technicians in the labs of life science companies and independently take over such routine tasks as transporting multiplates. What is more, the robot LiSA also constitutes the basis for other applications in manufacturing and household life.

Flexibility, safety and intuitive operation are crucial for the acceptance of an assistant robot that shares a work environment with human workers and interacts with them. Hence, along with the development of the mobile platform and navigation in dynamic environments, these aspects were also top priorities in the project. Apart from coordinating the joint project LiSA, the Fraunhofer IFF was further responsible for developing

  • The manipulator that will interact with humans and must meet all safety requirements,
  • The manipulator’s sensor guided motion and
  • The system for pick-up and drop-off station identification.

Moreover, the Fraunhofer IFF was also involved in every subsequent key point of development as systems integrator.

Key Project Emphases

The chief objectives of development of an assistant system for use under everyday condition were:

  • Development and construction of a mobile platform
  • Navigation in dynamic environments
  • Development of a manipulator and a safety concept that allows interaction with humans while observing and meeting all safety requirements
  • Identification of pick-up and drop-off positions and the object to be handled by means of image processing
  • Sensor guided manipulator motion
  • Multimodal human- assistant system (graphics, language)

LiSA: A mobile assistance robot for transporting tasks in life science company labs.

Project Partners

  • Fraunhofer IFF, Magdeburg (Project coordinator)
  • Osnabrück University, Institute of Computer Science, Research Group Knowledge-Based Systems, Osnabrück
  • Jenoptik Laser, Optik, Systeme GmbH, Jena
  • Sympalog Voice Solutions GmbH, Erlangen
  • SCHUNK GmbH & Co. KG, Lauffen/Neckar
  • Götting KG, Lehrte
  • [project:syntropy] GmbH, Magdeburg
  • KeyNeurotek AG, Magdeburg