Production and Supply of Services – Robotics

Robots are already a firm fixture in the industrial landscape – whether on the factory floor or in the medical laboratory. Alongside automakers, the metal-processing and plastic/rubber industries are increasingly turning to these steel-based staff. The latest incarnations are highly sensitive, with the high-tech helpers able to grip even tomatoes without squashing them. Meanwhile, other robots cut a good figure at any stand-up workstation on the production line thanks to their human-like proportions.

Produktion und Dienstleistung


The elephant's trunk as a model – a high-tech helper in industrial and household applications

Bionischer Handling-Assistent

In cooperation with Festo, Fraunhofer researchers have developed an entirely new robot arm. The so-called Bionic Handling Assistant, consists of an artificial arm, a wrist, and a gripper with three fingers. The innovation lies in the device's enormous flexibility. With its flexible movement sequences, this precision gripping device can respond to contact with humans, first decreasing pressure and then reapplying it straight away.this novel high-tech helper can work in industry and in the home.

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Collisions with robots – without risk of injury

© Fraunhofer IFF

Teamwork between humans and robots will be the motto of the future. But robots may not injure humans at all. When does contact cause an injury, though? Researchers are exploring this for the first time in a study.

Robotics: Safety without protective barriers

Picture: Visible lines
© Fraunhofer IFF

The modern working world is no longer conceivable without robots. They assist humans in manufacturing, laboratories or medicine. In the future, a new projection and camera-based system will prevent collisions between robots and humans working together.

A long-term EKG for wind turbines

Cracks in offshore wind turbine foundations can be found using the movable sensor ring.
© Fraunhofer IKTS

Researchers fitted a test pipe knot with two sensor ring demonstrators for practical trials in the Baltic Sea.

Offshore wind turbines have to take a lot of punishment, and this is particularly true for their foundations, which are anchored in the seabed. Divers periodically descend to inspect these structures for defects, but in the future, such checks will be faster and easier to carry out thanks to a new sensor ring. Researchers will be presenting a system for this at Hannover Messe from April 25 to 29, 2016 (Hall 2, Booth C16/C22).

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Radar with 360° vision

Der komplette Radarscanner: Im unteren silbernen Bereich befindet sich das Radarmodul, oben ist der Spiegel befestigt.
© Fraunhofer IAF

Der komplette Radarscanner: Im unteren silbernen Bereich befindet sich das Radarmodul, oben ist der Spiegel befestigt.

Nowadays it is impossible to imagine industry without robots. Safety laser scanners mostly safeguard dangerous areas and protect people from collisions. But optical sensors have their limitations, for instance when plastic surfaces, dust or smoke obstruct their line of sight. Fraunhofer researchers have developed a new, high-frequency radar scanner that cuts through these obstacles. It can monitor its environment in a 360-degree radius, making it ideal for safety applications wherever people and robots work together.

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Fraunhofer Group for Production

The Fraunhofer Group for Production is a cooperative venture, created with the aim of collaborating on production-oriented research and development to offer customers comprehensive single-source solutions.

Fraunhofer Lightweight Design Alliance

The Institutes that make up the Fraunhofer Lightweight Design Alliance bring together expertise in a number of fields.

Innovation Cluster »Life Cycle Engineering for Turbomachines«, Berlin/Brandenburg

The aim of the new Fraunhofer innovation cluster LCE is to transfer the concept of Life Cycle Engineering to turbomachines.

Mechatronic Machine Systems

The aim of the cluster is to develop manufacturing tools based on mechatronics that will help companies to design processes and manufacture products to exceedingly high standards.