Factory of the Future Extended

Flexible robot systems for the digitalised production of the future

Intelligent, digitally networked robots are key to the manufacturing of the future. Manufacturing tasks can be performed flexibly and efficiently in line with market requirements, which increases the resilience of companies and boosts production sites. In the ‘Factory of the Future Extended’ project, DLR is developing methods and technologies for the robot-assisted execution of production processes. Seven DLR institutes and facilities are working on reconfigurable robotic systems, human-robot collaboration, autonomous operation and digital images of systems and products.

At the Hannover Messe, visitors can see the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics’ variable robot workstation in action. The centrepiece of the modular stations is the DLR robotic arm SARA (Safe Autonomous Robotic Assistant). The torque-controlled lightweight robotic arm can independently position the required components and devices in the workspace and select the appropriate tools. Even electrical devices can be positioned variably in the workspace and controlled via the station’s patented FlexGrid system via EtherCat. The robot arm’s special force sensors and control system enable it to learn new skills intuitively by demonstration. Even difficult and contact-intensive tasks can be performed sensitively, quickly and with precision.

The high flexibility of the system will be demonstrated at the Hannover Messe with a variety of production tasks. Visitors to the trade fair can assign the robot station various tasks using the Human Factory Interface (HFI). The station then configures itself automatically and begins to carry out the task. The intelligent grinding of individual parts from the model and mold manufacturing sector will be demonstrated, as well as the high-precision measurement of bearings for quality assurance.


German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics
Korbinian Nottensteiner – E-Mail korbinian.nottensteiner@dlr.de