Competence center ROBDEKON – Robotic systems for decontamination in hazardous environments

ROBDEKON building at Fraunhofer IOSB
© Fraunhofer IOSB
ROBDEKON building at Fraunhofer IOSB
Visualization of an autonomous excavator and volumetric mapping of its environment
© Fraunhofer IOSB
Ambient perception of an autonomous excavator

Short description of the project

The competence center “Robotic systems for decontamination in hazardous environments” conducts research on autonomous or semi-autonomous robotic systems for use in work that has so far been associated with a significant potential hazard for humans.

Project goals

ROBDEKON is a national knowledge hub for questions concerning robotic systems for decontamination in hazardous environments – with a constantly expanding network of experts and users. As part of its research and development activities, ROBDEKON deals with mobile robots for rough terrain, autonomous construction machines, robotic manipulators as well as decontamination concepts, planning algorithms, multisensory 3D environmental mapping and teleoperation using virtual reality. Artificial intelligence methods enable the robots to perform assigned tasks autonomously or semi-autonomously.

In the first project phase of ROBDEKON, the focus is on three relevant application areas:

  • Decommissioning of nuclear facilities
  • Decontamination of plant components and waste
  • Remediation of contaminated sites

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Project results

Among other things, Fraunhofer IOSB is working on autonomy kits that turn near-series construction machines into (partially) autonomous robots for the remediation of contaminated sites. A driverless 24-ton excavator has been developed that autonomously removes layers of soil and loads them onto the trailer of a tractor that also operates autonomously.

Project partners

  • Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB (lead management)
  • German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) Bremen
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik (Computer Science Research Center)
  • Götting KG
  • Kraftanlagen Heidelberg GmbH
  • KHG Kerntechnische Hilfsdienst GmbH
  • ICP Ingenieurgesellschaft Prof. Czurda und Partner mbH

Involved departments of Fraunhofer IOSB

Two departments of Fraunhofer IOSB contribute their competences to ROBDEKON:


Project details

Competence center “ROBDEKON – Robotic systems for decontamination in hazardous environments”

Project duration: since 2019

The competence center is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

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