Head of Department: Dr. Markus Grebenstein
The department Mechatronic Systems aims to build robots, which are able to support humans. This, in particular, applies to tasks that are dangerous or harmful for human beings. Hence, the development is focused on giving the robots the abilities needed to perceive their surroundings as well as to act safe and robust even in extremely harsh environments, as found e.g. in space or disaster operations. Consequently, the development concentrates on the robot as a complete system and its fundamental components: Sensors to perceive the environment, communication infrastructure to transmit the perceived data reliably and safe, as well as the actuators needed to execute the tasks of the robot in a safe way for both, the human being as well as the robot.
The institute's robotic systems developed within the department are used by the entire institute in space applications such as "On-Orbit Servicing," "Robotic Space Assistance," and "Planetary Exploration". The mechatronic systems, components, and methods are applied in industry, medical robotics, and service robotics as well. These key technologies allow for extreme light-weight design, system integration, and power density and therefore enable flexible mobility as well as dexterous, compliant, and safe interaction with their environment. Typical fields of application are complex manipulation and assembly tasks and robotic assistance with physical human robot interaction as well as teleoperation.
The developed technologies are commercialized within national and international projects, in direct cooperation with industrial partners and by spin-off companies, creating and preserving high-tech jobs to a great extent.