Robot Operating System ROS and CANopen simplify the engineering and development process

January 2016

Recently published in the CiA-Newsletter: An article about our charming Servicerobot Care-O-bot 4 and how he benefits from the open source Robot Operating System ROS as well as from CANopen.


Making-of Care-O-bot 4 explained in new video

Care-O-bot 4 is the product vision of a versatile mobile robot assistant to actively support humans in their daily life. It can be used for a variety of tasks in everyday's environments: to deliver food and drinks, to assist with cooking, or to support personal in health care, in logistics or in manufacturing.

The way of how Care-O-bot 4 was designed to make it a unique concept with respect to modularity, agility and interactivity is now explained in an entertaining video.

YouTube: Making-of Care-O-bot 4

2. BMBF-Zukunftskongress Demografie

June 30, 2015

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

This year the »2. BMBF-Zukunftskongress Demografie« by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research at Gasometer Berlin-Schöneberg in Berlin, Germany, focused on the theme »Engaging people with technology«.

Under the topic »Trends in service robotics« Dr. Ulrich Reiser presented the Care-O-bot success story with a live demo of the latest generation Care-O-bot 4. 

Red Dot Award: Product Design 2015 – Award Ceremony

June 29, 2015

At the »Red Dot Gala« in the Aalto-Theater in Essen, Germany, the prizewinners of the Red Dot: Best of the Best were receiving the Red Dot Trophy on stage in presence of more than 1,200 guests from all over the world, including design stars, media representatives, business experts, and political figures.

The Red Dot Gala is the final celebratory highlight to mark the close of the design competition. As only 1,6 percent of all applications, Care-O-bot 4 received the recognition "Best of the Best”.

Prize award ceremony: Martin Hägele (Fraunhofer IPA) and Andreas Haug (Phoenix Design) receive the Red Dot Trophy on stage
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

Prize award ceremony: Martin Hägele (Fraunhofer IPA) and Andreas Haug (Phoenix Design) receive the Red Dot Trophy on stage

Martin Hägele, Dr. Ulrich Reiser & Tim Fröhlich (Fraunhofer IPA)
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

Martin Hägele, Dr. Ulrich Reiser & Tim Fröhlich (Fraunhofer IPA)

The Red Dot Design Yearbook 2015/2016 »Working«
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

The Red Dot Design Yearbook 2015/2016 »Working«

HMI 2015

April 13 to 17, 2015

At HMI 2015 Care-O-bot 4, presented by SCHUNK (Hall 17, Booth D26), handed out roses to the visitors and met former German national goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.

Posted by SCHUNK GmbH & Co. KG on April 13th

© Photo Schunk GmbH & Co. KG
© Photo Schunk GmbH & Co. KG

Best of the Best in the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2015 for Care-O-bot 4

March 31, 2015

We’re glad to announce that this year’s RedDot judging panel awarded the product design of Care-O-bot 4 with the prize. As only 1,6 percent of all applications, Care-O-bot 4 received the recognition "Best of the Best”.
»Press release (German)

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA, Rainer Bez
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA, Rainer Bez

ALTENPFLEGE 2015 - Leading Exhibition for the Care Sector

March 24 to 26, 2015

At »ALTENPFLEGE 2015« the simplified Care-O-bot 4 was presented as an intelligent care cart for residential care homes and hospitals, which makes nursing staffs' day-to-day life easier. Through its assistance functions, the care cart drives autonomously to the room where it is needed (see TV report) . In its final stage of development, it will provide nursing materials and document the usage according to statutory provisions.

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

8th International Expert Days on Service Robotics

February 25 to 26, 2015

Using the motto „Service Robotics: Probing new Horizons“ the 8th International Expert Days on Service Robotics took place at the SCHUNK facilities in Brackenheim-Hausen. The world’s leading communication platform for applied service robotics presented top speakers from all over the globe who provided current information about the state-of-the-art, solutions and possibilities.

A highlight was the first presentation of Care-O-bot 4 in public. While Dr. Ulrich Reiser gave an overview about the abilities and specifications, the service-robot was built up live in front of the audience. That allowed to demonstrate the modular and easily adaptable design of Care-O-bot 4.

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA


© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

HANNOVER MESSE 2015 Press Preview Event

February 3, 2015

Care-O-bot 4 did his first live appearance at the HANNOVER MESSE 2015 Press Preview Event in Berlin. The robot showed his capabilities to more than 100 selected journalists.

© Photo SCHUNK, Thomas Möller
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

Fourth generation released: Care-O-bot 4

January 15, 2015

Care-O-bot 4
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA, Rainer Bez

Together with the Stuttgart-based design studio Phoenix Design and Schunk, Fraunhofer IPA has been working on the completion of its new service robot for three years. The result is unique: The fourth generation of the Care-O-bot® is not only more agile, modular and charming than its predecessors, but it also stands out through the use of cost-reducing construction principles. In this way, large parts of its internal construction feature folding sheet metal, which is economical to produce in small quantities.

YouTube: Care-O-bot 4: The new modular service robot generation from Fraunhofer IPA

Care-O-bot cleaning the IPA library

August, 2014

A video has been recorded that shows the automated office cleaning with Care-O-bot 3 in the IPA library.

YouTube: Automated office cleaning

Automatica 2014

June 3 to 6, 2014

At AUTOMATICA 2014, three demonstrators of the AutoPnP project were presented at the BMWI / Industry 4.0 booth in hall A5 including Care-O-bot 3 applied to automated office cleaning tasks.

Furthermore, rob@work 3 equipped with a dual-arm robot was presented in Fraunhofer IPA’s booth in hall A4. It was used to demonstrate a new, fast and intuitive training system developed in the PRACE project allowing to apply it for automation of typical small batch assembly operations.

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

Care-O-bot serves at events in Wolfsburg, Lübeck, and Berlin

May, 2014

In Mai there was a batch of events where Care-O-bot could show his capabilities as well as serving drinks and food. One event was the robot festival at phaeno in Wolfsburg, the other one an event of Martens & Prahl insurance company in Lübeck.

Finally, the robot was presented at the market place of the “Dienstleistungstagung“ organized by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Berlin.

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

Test of Care-O-bot cleaning application

December, 2013

The AutoPnP project develops a standardized software architecture allowing dynamic integration of different hardware and software components. Being one of the demonstrators, Care-O-bot 3 has been modified and applied to an office cleaning scenario. In December 2013, for one week it has been tested in the offices of the Dussmann company, one of the leading experts in Integrated Facility Management.

© Photo Dussmann Group

Care-O-bot empties the trash bin automatically into the storage bin on the tool trolley.

© Photo Dussmann Group

Using its 3 finger hand Care-O-bot picks up a full trash bin.

© Photo Dussmann Group

Care-O-bot detects ground pollutions using its sensors and removes it using the specifically adapted vacuum cleaner.

ACCOMPANY user tests in Heerlen (NL)

August to November 2013

As part of the EU-FP7 collaborative project ACCOMPANY user tests with Care-O-bot 3 were carried out between August and October 2013 in Heerlen, NL, allowing elderly people to experience a robot-assisted household. The ACCOMPANY project focuses on investigating and evaluating the possibilities of using robotic assistance to facilitate independent living at home. Care-O-bot offered help to quickly pick up a parcel at the door and reminded the user to drink sufficiently. Depending on the physical condition of the user Care-O-bot also ensured the safe transfer of drinks to the user. In order to simplify usability of the complex robot technology a simple and intuitive user interface on a touch screen is used to operate Care-O-bot which allows the user to see through the eyes of the robot. By adjusting the system to user-specific preferences for example concerning the robot's approaching behaviour as well as various moods being displayed on the user interface, the user experience is supposed to be improved, thereby increasing the acceptance of technical assistance systems.

YouTube: Robot Companion for the Elderly

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

Opening of Fraunhofer IPA Care Lab

April 24th, 2013

The Care Lab integrates different assistive technologies developed at Fraunhofer IPA. Developments like Care-O-bot 3, the detection system sens@home, or the emergency assistant MobiNa were presented to an audience of more than 50 visitors. The lab is open to visits of the expert public. Please contact us for more details.

Video: "Mobile Emergency Assistant"

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

SRS Real home tests

December 10th to 14th, 2012

The main objectives of this test was to identify technical problems when operating the robot in a real home environment and to get feedback from potential elderly users.

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

BRICS Research Camp in Malaga with cob3-3

November 6th, 2012

The BRICS research camp was a good success. The Care-O-bot group (from left to right: Oliver Zendel, Lucian Goron, Leif Jentoft, Florian Weißhardt, Tim Niemueller, Daniel Ortiz Morales and Felix Meßmer) could demonstrate that the same application was performed by Care-O-bot and a youbot. This was enabled by an semantic task abstraction level which was introduced during the camp to still beeing able to run the same application and components on each robot but take into account the different appearances and kinematic structure of the robots.

A post from Tim Niemueller with more details can be found here.

Below some impressions from the Camp

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

Workhop on ROS Industrial at Fraunhofer IPA

October 17th, 2012

A workshop on ROS Industrial took place at Fraunhofer IPA in Stuttgart (Germany) at the 17th of October. Please find the workshop invitation including more information here.

New robots going out

July 27th, 2012

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

In July another batch of robots have grown up at IPA and will extend the Care-O-bot family. One of them, cob3-5 will assist cob3-2 at the University of Hertfordshire and cob3-6 will stay in the Service Robot Center at IPA.

First public presentation of rob@work 3 at Automatica 2012

May 22nd to 25th, 2012

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

SRS user tests and press conference, Milan

May 2nd to 11th, 2012

Care-O-bot was part of a one week user study in Milan which was held within the SRS project. The user studies were accompanied by a huge press attendance for the official press conference.

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

The b-it-bots placed 2nd during RoboCup GermanOpen with cob3-1

April 4th, 2012

Announcement from Nico Hochgeschwender of Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University on the cob-users mailing list

Dear all,

the RoboCup@Home team of the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied
Sciences placed 2nd during the RoboCup German Open 2012 in Magdeburg.

With a Care-O-bot 3 platform and our own software in the field of
manipulation, perception, and HRI we performed several feasible
household tasks such as cleaning an appartment.

We would like to thank all supporters and the Care-O-bot community.

Please refer to for more details
about our team and research.

With kind regards,
the b-it-bots

Congratulations! This is an impressive result, we are looking forward to know more about the RoboCup activities with cob3-1.

ipa-apartment: new home for cob3-3

March 16th, 2012

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA
© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

In simulation the ipa-kitchen will still be present for your tests and a simulation environment for the new ipa-apartment will come soon.

Care-O-bot @ IROS demonstrations 2011

September 25-30, 2011

IROS 2011 in San Francisco came with a demonstration session that aimed at validating theoretical results of papers experimentally on service robot platforms.

  • General Purpose Service Robot – EU Project BRICS
  • Active Perception Planning – Artemis JU project R3-COP
  • Semi-autonomous Tele-Operation Interface for Robotic Fetch and Carry Tasks – EU project SRS
  • Using Mobile Manipulation to solve a Household Task – EU Project BRICS

A symposium took place on Monday, 26 September highlighting the most interesting demos.

For more information please refer to the IROS demonstrations website.

YouTube: Care-O-bot 3 IROS2011 preparations

Care-O-bot 3 @ BRICS Research Camp

October 24-29, 2010

In the last week of October the Care-O-bot participated in the first BRICS research camp ( in Motril/Spain. Students were working on the Care-O-bot as well as on some youbots and a dual arm lbr setup for one week. The “Care-O-bot students” reused software from the care-o-bot open source repository and integrated their own algorithms. The work of the students can be seen on YouTube:

BRICS Research Camp: Care-O-bot 3 pick-up demo

BRICS Research Camp: OMPL on Care-O-bot 3

BRICS Research Camp: Care--bot 3 force controlled

WiMi-Care intermediate Workshop, inHaus Duisburg

November 4, 2010

OpenRave Model for Care-O-bot Available

August 11th, 2010

The Care-O-bot 3 model got integrated in the OpenRAVE planning stack by Julsonne Gandon and Rosen Diankov. You can find the models in the current svn trunk of OpenRAVE.

YouTube: Care-O-bot 3 grasp planning

Care-O-bot 3 @ Robocup@home camp

March 15th-20th, 2010

Care-O-bot 3 took part in the Robocup@home Camp in Bonn.

EURON/EUROP Annual Meeting

March 10-12, 2010

A presentation on the Care-O-bot research initiative was scheduled for March 12 at the EURON/EUROP Annual Meeting in San Sebastian, Spain. In the session “Robot Application Development Process” information about the development process of Care-O-bot 3 was provided including an introduction to the open source repository as well as the different access models allowing researchers all over the world to work with the robot.

Care-O-bot Research at Schunk Expert Days

February 24th and 25th, 2010

The Care-O-bot Research initiative was presented at the Schunk Expert Days in Brackenheim-Hausen, Germany. There was an introduction on the different access models to the robot and the open source repository.

Care-O-bot 3 information day

March 15th, 2010

The Care-O-bot 3 public information day took place on March,15th at our institute in Stuttgart. This information day addressed all research institutes interested in purchasing or remotely accessing a Care-O-bot 3 platform and informed about the current capabilities as well as available hardware and software components for the robot.

Bayer Kommunikationszentrum BayKomm Leverkusen

Oktober 8 to 10, 2009

Anniversary 50 Years Fraunhofer IPA

July 1 to 3, 2009

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

Science night at the FH Technikum

November 8, 2008

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

Opening Fraunhofer inHaus 2 and inHaus-Forum

November 5 to 6, 2008

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

"The robots are coming"

May 26, 2008

© Photo Fraunhofer IPA

Presentation of Care-O-bot® 3 at the opening of the exhibition "The robots are coming"