Research project "SeRoDi" presented final results

September 2018

© Fraunhofer IPA
© Fraunhofer IPA

In the "SeRoDi" project ("Service Robotics for Personal Services"), Fraunhofer IPA worked with other research and application partners to develop new service robot solutions for inpatient care. With the resulting robots, the "intelligent care cart" as well as the "robotic service assistant", extensive practical tests in one clinic and two nursing facilities have been performed. The project partners were able to verify the benefit of the robots for the relief of the staff.

rob@work: Order picking robot for retail stores and warehouses

December 2017

The video features a prototypical order picking robot for picking goods according to customer orders. The robot is capable of driving to the respective storage location of the ordered items and detects the exact 3d location and pose of them within the shelf using its object recognition system. The desired object can then be grasped with the vacuum gripper and is stored in a collection box. Training the objects models is simple and fast and can be done with a specialized object modelling station.

Fraunhofer IPA: Warehouse and retail logistics

Care-O-bot Paul as special guest at the Internet World Exhibition 2017

March 2017

Will robots enrich our world of work and commerce in the future? Shops where robots greet customers or supermarkets without cashiers: The digital revolution has fully captured the trade. Remote controlled vendors and polyglot robots are designed to offer consumers what the online trade isn’t able to: An experience to touch and wonder - and so to lure the people back into the stationary shops.

These were all topics of this year's Internet World Exibition, where Care-O-bot Paul was presented. In expert talks with Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Reiser, one could learn about the experiences Media-Saturn made with digital innovations at the point of sale and what robots can do in terms of customer advice.

The Internet World is Europe's leading e-commerce fair and took place on the 7th and 8th of March 2017 at the Munich exhibition grounds.

© Internet World Messe, Marion Vogel
© Internet World Messe, Marion Vogel
Robot Paul with Mediamarkt-Saturn-CDO Martin Wild (left) and Fraunhofer IPA project leader Ulrich Reiser.

Care-O-bot Paul opens the Munich Creative Business Week

March 2017

Care-O-bot 4 has opened the Munich Creative Business Week: Design connects - The German Design Event! Interested people were able to meet Paul at the exhibition "The smart revolution" in the MCBW forum.

»How we design our future with robotics« - This question was answered by experts on 7 March at the Phoenix Design Design Talk in Munich. The talk guests also included IPA scientist Ulrich Reiser, who brought his protege Care-O-bot Paul into the studio.

YouTube: MCBW 2017 Design Talk "Smart Robots"

© Phoenix Design
© Phoenix Design
© Phoenix Design

Care-O-bot Paul wins reta award 2017

March 2017

© MediaMarktSaturn

Paul, Saturn’s mobile assistant robot, was one of the recipients of the retail technology awards europe (reta) for “Best Customer Experience”. This category is used by the EHI Retail Institute to recognize retail companies for their future-oriented methods and technologies that increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. The reta europe were handed over on March 6, 2017, at the leading retail trade fair EuroShop in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Paul has been in use in Saturn Ingolstadt since November 2016, welcoming visitors at the store entrance as a digital receptionist. He leads customers to their desired products and can call a human colleague with Voice over IP (VoIP) to take over consultation on request. The assistance robot thus not only offers a concrete added value for customers, but also supports Saturn employees, who are relieved of routine tasks. And with great success: in his first months in the store, Paul has already traveled more than 100,000 meters and interacted with customers about 7,000 times. Paul is most frequently asked for products from the fields of Film & Music and Smartphones & Tablets, as well as TVs, washing machines and dryers.

Press release MediaMarktSaturn

Care-O-bot® 4 celebrates its première as shopping assistant

November 2016

© Saturn
Paul, a member of the Care-O-bot® 4 robot family, has been greeting customers in Saturn-Markt Ingolstadt since the end of October 2016 and directing them towards their desired products.

In January 2015, Fraunhofer IPA presented a prototype of the “Care-O-bot® 4” service robot. The charming helper is now proving its worth in the real world. “Paul” the robot has been greeting customer in Saturn-Markt Ingolstadt since the end of October 2016 and directing them towards their desired products.

Care-O-bot 4®, alias Paul, approaches Saturn customers and welcomes them to the store. If they ask him about a certain product, he accompanies the customer to the department and points them in the direction of the relevant shelf. As he indulges in small talk about the weather or another subject, Paul turns out to be a most charming contact partner. However, he prefers to leave actual customer service to his human colleagues. Paul is able to call another member of staff for support via “Voice over IP”. Before Paul bids a fond farewell and returns to the store entrance, he still has time to ask for feedback. In this way, he discovers whether customers appreciated the interaction or not.

Press release

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 service robot Care-O-bot 4 and how he benefits from the open source Robot Operating System ROS as well as from CANopen.

Read the article

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

EU-Project SECURE: Fraunhofer IPA refines safety of assistance robots

November 2015

© Fraunhofer IPA

The international research project SECURE (»Safety Enables Cooperation in Uncertain Robotic Environments«) analyzes how the safety of assistance robots in domestic use can be increased. The requirements for safety, interaction options, learning and communication abilities for assistance robots are very high.

Within the scope of the research platform Care-O-bot® 4 the scientists of Fraunhofer IPA work on the topics environment reconstruction and mobile manipulation. The concepts of assistance robots on several development levels – from hardware to software to learning cognitive processes – and their interplay for safety are getting examined more closely.

Press release (German)

2. BMBF-Zukunftskongress Demografie

June 30, 2015

© 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
© 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)
© Fraunhofer IPA
Martin Hägele, Dr. Ulrich Reiser & Tim Fröhlich (Fraunhofer IPA)
The Red Dot Design Yearbook 2015/2016 »Working«
© Fraunhofer IPA
The Red Dot Design Yearbook 2015/2016 »Working«

Symposium »Arbeit in der digitalisierten Welt«

April 29 to 30, 2015

Care-O-bot 4 used as an intelligent care cart for residential care homes and hospitals
© Fraunhofer IPA

At the 8th AAL Congress in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, a simplified Care-O-bot 4 used as an intelligent care cart for residential care homes and hospitals was presented.

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

© Schunk GmbH & Co. KG
© 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)

© Fraunhofer IPA, Rainer Bez
© 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.

© Fraunhofer IPA
© 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.

© Fraunhofer IPA
© Fraunhofer IPA

Release Party @ Fraunhofer IPA

February 5, 2015

Engineers and designers who worked on Care-O-bot 4
© Fraunhofer IPA
Engineers and designers who worked on Care-O-bot 4

Care-O-bot 4 gave its release party at the premises of Fraunhofer IPA for all those who have worked on it for three years. Engineers and designers came together to celebrate the successful completion of the project.

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.

© SCHUNK, Thomas Möller
© Fraunhofer IPA

Fourth generation released: Care-O-bot 4

January 15, 2015

Care-O-bot 4
© 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.

© Fraunhofer IPA
© Fraunhofer IPA
© 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.

© Fraunhofer IPA
© Fraunhofer IPA
© Fraunhofer IPA

Care-O-bot remote controlled

April, 2014

© Fraunhofer IPA

Within a joint masters thesis with DLR, remote control of Care-O-bot 3 equipped with DLR’s HiT hand and their haptic control interfaces was implemented.

Hannover Messe 2014

April 7 to 11, 2014

© Fraunhofer IPA

At HMI 2014, Care-O-bot 3 equipped with components and technologies for automated office cleaning, specifically dirt and dustbin detection and cleaning has been presented at the booth of BMWi.

Article with additional pictures and video at

Santa Care-O-bot is back!

December 6th, 2013

© Fraunhofer IPA

Santa Care-O-bot is getting help from some reindeer rob@works while delivering a bunch of small MobiNa robots. Enjoy the christmas season!

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.

© Dussmann Group
Care-O-bot empties the trash bin automatically into the storage bin on the tool trolley.
© Dussmann Group
Using its 3 finger hand Care-O-bot picks up a full trash bin.
© Dussmann Group
Care-O-bot detects ground pollutions using its sensors and removes it using the specifically adapted vacuum cleaner.

Care-O-bot in TV @ Quarks&Co with Ranga Yogeshwar

November 12th, 2013

© Fraunhofer IPA

Once more Care-O-bot bot had the opportunity to show its capabilities on TV, in the WDR production Quarks & Co. with Ranga Yogeshwar. You can watch the episode here.

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

© Fraunhofer IPA
© Fraunhofer IPA

A new Care-O-bot is out in the world: cob3-7 settling down in Odense

October 23rd, 2013

© Fraunhofer IPA

We recently build up the seventh Care-O-bot 3 (cob3-7) which was shipped to Odense (Denmark) the 23rd of October 2013. Cob3-7 shows once more the modular design of Care-O-bot 3: Instead of a Schunk LWA or a Kuka LBR this robot is equipped with a Universal Robot UR5 arm. To give it the same dexterous workspace on both the front side and back side of the robot the arm is mounted on an additional rotation axis moving the arm to both sides.
In Odense cob3-7 will be used at the Southern Denmark University SDU and the Danish Technological institute DTI for their research e.g. within the project Patient@Home.

A full list of all Care-O-bots and rob@works can be found here.

rob@work platforms

May 8th, 2013

© Fraunhofer IPA

Three rob@work platforms ready for delivery

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"

© Fraunhofer IPA
© Fraunhofer IPA
© Fraunhofer IPA

Congress „AUTONOMIK-Transfer“

January 31st, Berlin

© Fraunhofer IPA

At the AUTONOMIK-Congress the visual dirt detection system developed in the AutoPnP project was presented. It will be used for target-oriented cleaning of office buildings. Care-O-bot was further presented in the auditorium where it served snacks to the visitors.

AAL Congress

January 22nd to 23rd, Berlin

© 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.

© Fraunhofer IPA
© Fraunhofer IPA
© Fraunhofer IPA
© 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

© Fraunhofer IPA
© Fraunhofer IPA

Rehacare International, Düsseldorf

October 10th to 13th, 2012

© Fraunhofer IPA

At Rehacare fair Care-O-bot was presented at the Theme Park Assistive Robotics organized by Fraunhofer IPA.

YouTube: Robots at Rehare

© Fraunhofer IPA
© 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

© 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

© Fraunhofer IPA
© 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.

© Fraunhofer IPA
© 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

© Fraunhofer IPA
© 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.

First Care-O-bot Experimentation Days at Fraunhofer IPA in Stuttgart

November 30th and December 1st, 2011

© Fraunhofer IPA

The event aimed at students who had already gathered experience in software development for service robots and were keen on implementing and transferring theory to real robotic applications on Care-O-bot 3.

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

© Fraunhofer IPA

Science night at the FH Technikum

November 8, 2008

© Fraunhofer IPA

Opening Fraunhofer inHaus 2 and inHaus-Forum

November 5 to 6, 2008

© Fraunhofer IPA

"The robots are coming"

May 26, 2008

© Fraunhofer IPA

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