Autonomous mobile manipulation

In the future, autonomous mobile systems will increasingly penetrate into areas where manipulation tasks can be solved without human involvement. Examples are the assembly, maintenance, repair and disassembly of technical systems. They will be used where inhospitable environments pose a high risk to humans, e.g. in underwater areas or contaminated infrastructures.

There are several scientific challenges to be solved:

  • the autonomous driving in unstructured environments,
  • the detection of the object to be manipulated,
  • the optimization of the trajectories of the manipulation system,
  • the compensation of environmental influences and
  • the verification of the manipulation result.

The solution uses autonomous systems and AI methods developed in this business unit.

Within the framework of the Competence Center ROBDEKON Fraunhofer IOSB develops autonomy algorithms for heavy construction machines, which should enable them to independently take over work in landfill and contaminated site remediation in the future. This includes the autonomous removal of contaminated soil layers as well as the recovery of drums with hazardous materials. This is made possible by the use of the algorithm toolbox for autonomous mobile robot systems of Fraunhofer IOSB.

The MISO-Inspector project focuses on the development and a first practical test of an intelligent, multivariate inspection system for foundation structures of offshore structures and other structures such as FPSOs used in the oil and gas sector. Digitalization of the inspection, automation of the evaluation and preparation of autonomous missions of ROVs are the main topics.

In the Smart Ocean Technology research group in Rostock, Fraunhofer IOSB is developing and testing a novel manipulator that is installed on a remote-controlled underwater vehicle and can perform various tasks in the field of underwater maintenance. These tasks are:

  • Targeted targeting of damaged areas on underwater infrastructure,
  • applying coating systems under water,
  • Docking to a special device of the sensor sleeve ,
  • Reading sensor data from the sensor sleeves for long-term monitoring of offshore structures,
  • Visual process monitoring of the entire work process and support of the ROV pilot by partially automated control maneuvers,
  • 3D reconstruction of the underwater infrastructure