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IP 287513
call FP7-ICT-2011-7
SAPHARI is funded under the European Community's 7th Framework Programme

3. Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics (DLR)

Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics (DLR)

DLR is the Aerospace Research Center as well as the German Space Agency. Its Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics, located in Oberpfaffenhofen, is headed by Prof. Dr. Gerd Hirzinger and currently employs over 220 engineers and scientists. It is one of the biggest and most acknowledged Institutes in the field worldwide. The main focus is on the design and realisation of intelligent mechatronic concepts and systems. Examples of the pioneering work are multiple ultra-lightweight arms and also multi-fingered hands. These robots use both force-/torque sensors at the hand basis and in the robot joints and directly sense and control the torques of the interaction with the environment along the entire robot structure (soft robotics). These technologies are successfully transferred to industrial partners as KUKA, Brainlab, and Schunk. For these activities, the institute has won the EURON/erf (European Robotics Forum) Technology Transfer Award in 2004 and 2007. Recent and also awarded research is on the compliant whole body control of Justin, the DLR dual-arm/hand mobile service robot, allowing to manipulate objects skilfully in unknown environments (based also on vision information) and to safely interact with humans. Variable impedance robot design and control is another recent major research focus. DLR has one of the worldwide most active groups on safe physical human-robot interaction. The institute coordinates and contributes to several international projects in FP7 (IP, STREP) participates to ESA space projects and also to many national space and research projects. It has been enlarged and transform to a National Center on Robotics and Mechatronics in 2009.

Key researchers

Alin ALBU-SCHÄFFER ( received his Ph.D. degree in Control Systems in 2002 from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Since 1995, he is with the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), where he is heading the Department of Mechatronic Components and Systems and since 2007 he is a lecturer at the Technical University of Munich. His research interest includes robot modelling and control, nonlinear control, flexible joint robots, impedance and force control, physical human-robot interaction, mechatronic systems design, variable impedance actuators. Among others, he received the DLR Research and the DLR Innovation Award, the Industrial Robot Journal Outstanding Paper Award 2007 and 2008 and at-Automatisierungstechnik Best Paper Award 2005, and Awards in several categories at the main robotics conferences (ICRA and IROS). He is Associate Editor of the Transactions on Robotics and served as Area Chair and PC member for several international robotics conferences. He published more than 95 papers in conferences and journals.

Christian OTT ( received his doctoral degree in Automatic Control from the University of Saarland, Germany, in 2005. He was a visiting researcher at the University of Twente and worked for two years as a project assistant professor at the University of Tokyo. Currently he is with the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). His main research interests are the application of nonlinear control methods to robotic systems, force and impedance control, and control of humanoid robots. He published more than 40 papers in conferences and journals.

Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics (DLR)