Annual report 2021/2022 of Fraunhofer IOSB

We make AI fly: Editorial of the annual report

Artificial Intelligence – there is probably no other field of technology that is currently associated with so many hopes for innovations, new business models, growth opportunities and disruption. For Germany alone, its economic potential for the coming years is estimated at several hundred billion euros. We are experiencing huge changes to our living and working environments associated with AI, with more to come in the future.

But the challenges of turning all of these visions into reality are also enormous. Artificial intelligence now produces eloquent-sounding texts, fakes deceptively real-looking videos and can even beat world champions at complex board games. Some practical digital tools that are now part of everyday life, such as speech recognition on smartphones, were only possible in the first place thanks to AI. However, progress is more arduous in many sectors. Where AI is just one component in a complex system, where something is at stake, where systems interact with the physical world in ways that could break things or even endanger people, the successful application of AI still faces major challenges, some of which are very fundamental.

For us at Fraunhofer IOSB, researching AI applications is a part of our DNA, not only since the hype of the last few years, and we certainly do not limit ourselves to the commonly referenced subfield of deep neural learning. Whether it is logical reasoning, solution seeking, environmental perception, understanding and modeling, motion planning or making the best decisions in the face of uncertainty – our focus is diversified. We are also familiar with important application domains, as our research and development – which is not just limited to the field of AI – is focused on practical issues from sectors such as industrial production, mobile systems, human-machine interaction, testing and sorting tasks, public safety or utility infrastructure management.

Making AI fly in these domains too, through appropriate methods and tools – that is our strength. This is our mission. It is a common thread across the many activities and focuses of our institute. It is therefore also a theme that runs through this Annual Report and turns up in many chapters.

We cordially invite you to browse through our annual report online, to download a pdf or to order a printed copy. You will find the corresponding links in the boxes on the right or below (in mobile view).

Activities of Fraunhofer IOSB at a glance: Online appendix

Scientific publications

Here you can find at a glance the papers and conference contributions that were written at Fraunhofer IOSB in 2020/2021.

Awards and prizes

Our technologies have been awarded numerous awards and prizes in the period 2020-2021.

Special events

Over 1400 people participated - digitally or in presence - in conferences and other events that we (co-)organized.



Guest researcher

Despite Corona, at least 2 guest scientists worked at our institute for half a year or longer in 2020/2021.

Trade fairs and exhibitions

We have presented our services at around 33 trade fairs, conferences and theme days.

Patents and brands

50 new patents and brands from 2020 to 2021 document our continuous research activity.

Participation in committees

Optimally networked – Fraunhofer IOSB employees are sought-after experts in specialist circles and committees.


Educational activities

Our employees have given a wide range of lectures, seminars, exercises and internships at various universities.


30 doctoral examinations were taken by scientists of Fraunhofer IOSB in 2020 and 2021.



We have communicated the latest scientific findings and our expert knowledge in numerous specialist lectures at home and abroad.