The research and development activities of FHWS are orientated towards the requirements of society and industry. Robotics is among the mega trends of the 21st century. Robots are becoming increasingly intelligent and are nowadays not only used in the industry but in many fields of daily life.
The Center Robotics (CERI) combines research and teaching: Students receive knowledge from first hand and on the basis of current scientific findings. Application-oriented research as well as active knowledge and technology transfer contribute towards results being rapidly and directly beneficial for scientific and technological progress. In this unique concentration of expertise in application-oriented research, science and industry work hand in hand. This way CERI enables technology transfer into regional and supra-regional industrial companies and is the starting point for founding companies.
The research fields of the Center Robotics are derived from the FHWS research focus on Digital and Intelligent Systems. Currently CERI is working with industry on two focal research fields.
In order to still remain competitive when producing in high-wage countries, new automation paradigms have to be developed. One of these approaches is human-robot collaboration which combines the strengths of humans and machines to achieve increased productivity and improved ergonomics. Work safety and acceptance by workers are important aspects that need to be considered. Human and machine have to be effectively integrated and communicate with each other in order to understand the respective intentions and goals. In the long term this can lead to a basis of trust where “colleague robot” can act as a full member in the human-robot team.
In addition to production, handling and assembly work, robots are also taking over more and more intralogistics tasks in modern factories. Components and tools have to be transported in a timely manner between different processing stations. To this purpose automated guided vehicles (AGVs) have to navigate safely in highly dynamic surroundings, identify objects in the surroundings and, if necessary, also pick them up and place them. In addition, the logistic flows have to be efficiently planned and optimized and interact with the sequences at the processing stations to ensure a productive production chain. Intralogistics tasks also extend towards applications outside the factory, such as warehouses, hospitals or hotels.