DLR is the Aerospace Research Center as well as the German Space Agency. Its Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics is headed by Dr. Alin Albu‐Schäffer and currently employs over 250 engineers and scientists. It is one of the biggest and most acknowledged institutes in the field worldwide. The main focus is on the design, dynamic modelling and simulation, control, and realisation of intelligent mechatronic concepts and systems.
Examples of the pioneering work are several ultra‐lightweight arms and multifingered hands. They use force‐/torque sensors for directly sensing and control the interaction torques with the environment along the entire robot structure.
These technologies were successfully transferred to industrial partners such as KUKA, Brainlab, and Schunk. For this DLR‐RMC won the EURON/ERF Technology Transfer Award in 2004, 2007, 2011. In 2011 it acknowledged the commercialization of the DLR lightweight robot by KUKA Laboratories GmbH, leading to robot widely used in industry and research as a research platform for mobile manipulation and human‐robot interaction.
Recent also awarded research is on the compliant whole body control of the DLR dual‐arm/hand mobile service robot Justin, allowing performing mobile manipulation tasks skillfully in unknown environments and to safely interact with humans. Real‐time task and motion planning based on 3D perception algorithms for mobile manipulators and the development of intuitive and flexible robot programming paradigms is another recent major research focus.