Robotics deals in general with machines that can assist in or perform the execution of tasks such as assembly or machining by industrial robots. Research projects in this area concern, for example, the control of motions and forces in human-robot interaction as well as the planning of paths and trajectories for mobile and collaborative robots.


Dr.-Ing. Andreas Völz
Tel.: +49 9131 85-61036
E-Mail | Homepage

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Knut Graichen
Tel.: +49 9131 85-27127
E-Mail | Homepage

Robots should move and interact with humans as efficiently as possible. If this includes high velocities or heavy payloads, the nonlinear rigid body dynamics as well as the input constraints need to be taken into account, which leads to a computationally demanding optimization problem. On the other hand, when the robot is in contact with its environment, the rigid body dynamics are often less relevant, but the forces and torques that arise must be considered by the control system. This is especially important for safe human-robot interaction. Here, the challenges include the contact modelling (e.g. stiffness and friction), the safe handling of contact loss, or the selection of controller parameters for different applications. Current research considers model predictive interaction control (MPIC), which refers to MPC with explicit prediction of contact forces and torques, as well as the development of specialized algorithms for solving optimization problems with rigid body dynamics.

Cooperative dual-arm manipulation
Robot-environment interaction control
XPlanar system and Allegro hand

Besides controlling motions, also the planning of paths (geometric description) and trajectories (time information) is a relevant problem for many types of robots. In particular for mobile and collaborative robots, motions should be planned in such a way that they do not cause self-collisions or collisions with obstacles in the environment. Global planners iteratively build a search structure that explores the space of possible motions, whereas local planners only search in the neighborhood of an initial solution. In order to efficiently find high-quality solutions, it is necessary to combine the advantages of both global and local planning methods. Further difficulties arise in dynamic environments, where the future motion of obstacles needs to be predicted or for car-like robots, where the non-holonomic kinematics need to be considered.

Boston Dynamics Spot
Dynamic obstacle detection
Collision-free motion planning

The Chair is equipped with a mobile dual-arm robot as well as a motion capturing system that have been funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) through the major instrumentation proposal INST 90/1167-1 FUGG. The system enables the experimental validation of planning and control methods for mobile manipulation in workspaces shared with humans. For more information contact Prof. Dr.-Ing. Knut Graichen or Dr.-Ing. Andreas Völz.


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Compliance for a robotic assistance system

Cooperative manipulation with dual-arm robots at the payload limit

Dual-armrobots offer a high potential for automation technology, as they canbe used to implement tasks that are not possible with one arm alone.This includes in particular the manipulation of large or heavyobjects that exceed the payload of a single arm. Illustrativeexamples are the movement of beverage crates, long boards or pipes,which are also preferably grasped by humans with both hands.

However,cooperative manipulation is particularly challenging, because botharms…

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Kinesthetic teaching and predictive control of interaction tasks in robotics

Precise interactions as part of industrial manufacturing tasks are typically very complex to characterize and implement. One reason for this is the heterogeneity of the task-specific requirements for the motion and control behavior. A direct implementation of the task into a robot program therefore requires highly qualified specialists and is only profitable for large lot sizes. For a flexible applicability and easy (re-)configuration of the robot system, an approach to programming by kinesthetic…

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Motion planning for driving simulators

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