Areas of research

Autonomous mobile robots are able to move freely in their environment in order to explore or to change it. They are equipped with sensors to detect obstacles, for example, and actuators for movement as well as for manipulation if necessary.

At the Institute of Computer Engineering, different types of robots for different fields of applications are developed, partly in cooperation with external partners, usually built and evaluated as demonstration systems. These involve, among others, walking robots, underwater robots and service robots. A major research focus is high reliability and robustness due to fault tolerance based on organic principles, especially self-organization and emergence.

In the field of Medical Robotics, mobile systems for rehabilitation at home are explored that can be flexibly monitored and controlled via the Internet.

The research area “Adaptive Digital Systems” deals with the development of architectures and methods for (runtime) adaptive and reliable complex systems under area and energy efficiency constraints as well as reusability. By means of a dynamic adjustment of circuit structures to the current requirements of an application, the performance can be increased while energy requirements can be reduced. This allows the design of high- performance and energy-efficient systems with manifold applications in the areas of mobile, embedded systems and High Performance Computing.

As fields of applications, we regard network processors, Semantic Web databases and video processing in the area of High Performance Computing and the recognition of gestures to control robots as well as the acoustic detection of objects for underwater robots in the area of mobile systems. The system designs serve as a basis for the development of a universal system architecture which can be used for a broad range of applications with only few modifications.

crowds of robots to grow our houses and future green cities

Within the EU-funded project “flora robotica” two essentials for our future life on earth are being merged: technology and nature. Following a simple yet radically new idea, our international team of researchers is envisioning and constructing a bio-hybrid society of robots and natural plants. This bio-hybrid society will be able to reach human-collaborative goals by communicating, working, and growing together. flora robotica takes the first steps toward intelligent plants that can adaptively and sustainably grow our built environment - from urban furniture, to public spaces, to buildings, to entire cities.

Expired Projects

The Cyber-Physical Systems group, led by Prof. Dr. Kay Römer, investigates distributed wireless embedded systems that sense and act on the real world.

Due to the close integration of these systems with real-world processes, paired with resource constraints and unreliable components, many exciting research challenges emerge. We are focusing on self organization ("organic computing"), networking, programming models and software infrastructures, as well as fault management.

In close cooperation with the medical faculity we investigate body sensor networks and smart camera networks for analysing animal behavior. Further application areas are the Internet of Things where things are integrated into the Internet, as well as Programmable Matter whose shape can be changed under program control.