The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft focuses on applied research which is useful for private and public enterprise and of wide benefit to society. Its services are solicited by customers and contractual partners in industry, the service sector and public administration.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA develops solutions for organizational and technological functions in the production sector of industrial companies. Fraunhofer IPA in 2009 had roughly 350 employees, with a sales volume of 37 M€. The activities conducted by the Robotic Systems Department encompass all areas connected with robot deployment and automatable production processes, as well as the development of robotic systems and their key components. Many of Fraunhofer IPA’s technologies and solutions have already been approved in daily use applications.
In service robotics, advanced software libraries have e.g. been developed for real-time 3D environment perception as well as for mobile robot navigation and manipulation in dynamic everyday environments. Fraunhofer IPA is also well known for the development of highly sophisticated hardware platforms, such as the robotic home assistant Care-O-bot® (www.care-o-bot.de) or their three entertainment robots, which, for more than 10 years, have been running freely among visitors of the Museum für Kommunikation in Berlin.
In industrial robotics, Fraunhofer IPA develops new applications and solutions in the areas of fast and intuitive programming, material flow, machining with robots, safe human robot cooperation and many other areas. The services offered begin with consulting and problem solving, cover the fast and efficient set up of proof-of-concept robot cells and end with the realization in the customers work shop.
What motivates us
As an applied research institute, the core business of Fraunhofer IPA is to develop and transfer new robotics technologies and solutions to industry and thus strengthen the European robotics market. Developments in robotics, however, often come with high risks and are associated with high hardware costs. ECHORD provides the unique opportunity to transfer advanced robotics technologies to new industrial applications even for companies with a limited R&D or hardware budget. Due to the focused approach and the targeted schedules of the single experiments, ECHORD allows the agile development and evaluation of new automation solutions.