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DFKI Research Departments

DFKI Research Departments in Osnabrück

Plan-Based Robot Control (Head: Professor Dr. Joachim Hertzberg)

Portrait Prof. Dr. Joachim Hertzberg

[Translate to English:] Prof. Dr. Joachim Hertzberg

The Osnabrück-based DFKI research department  Plan-Based Robot Control develops algorithms for plan-based control of autonomous mobile robotic systems. Fields of application include, e.g. automatic agricultural machinery and driverless transport systems.

The field of research includes the three-dimensional sensory environment perception of machines and the automatic interpretation of the sensed data. Using methods of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the machines determine the semantic context of their current environment. Based on the knowledge gained, the machine determines action plans by which it can achieve given action goals autonomously. All these steps need to be robust against uncertainty and incompleteness of the knowledge and the perception of the robot environment.

Fields of research and development are:

  • 3D mapping and modeling
  • semantic sensor data interpretation
  • generation and execution monitoring of action plans

The Plan-Based Robot Control research department benefits from the basic research conducted by Osnabrück University’s Knowledge-Based Systems group, headed by Professor Joachim Hertzberg. He contributes to the “Zukunftslabor Agrar” within the Center for Digital Innovations Lower Saxony (ZDIN), and acts as its spokesperson.

Smart Enterprise Engineering (Head: Professor Dr. Oliver Thomas)

Portrait Oliver Thomas

[Translate to English:] Prof. Dr. Oliver Thomas

The DFKI research department Smart Enterprise Engineering, headed by Professor Dr. Oliver Thomas, explores digital business models for the company of the future. All research projects are application-oriented and are developed in close cooperation not only with large international corporations, but also with hidden champions and with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). New and innovative methods and tools for the design and application of Smart Products, Smart Services and Smart Systems are developed and applied in various federal, state and industry-financed projects.

The DFKI team led by Professor Thomas emphasizes the comprehensive digital collection, processing and use of data, and advances the development of data-based value creation mechanisms. For this purpose, humans and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are interpreted as part of a common value-added system, and their cooperative performance takes center stage.

Fields of application that have already been explored and technically implemented include: recommender agents for company organization; middleware platforms for the design of process structures; mobile and portable assistance systems for the proactive provision of information in technical service areas, in logistics and in healthcare; and the prediction of system states in mechanical and plant engineering and in retail. These issues position autonomous systems and services as important tools for business information management.

The vision of the Smart Enterprise Engineering research department is to combine the perspectives of information systems and AI to leverage the potential of comprehensive information provision and to exploit competitive advantages, especially for SMEs, by supporting and (partially) automating complex activities. In the process, Professor Thomas pays particular attention to the interdisciplinary orientation of the solutions developed, consistently adding the necessary technological perspectives to his business management focus.

The research department, headed by Professor Thomas, works closely with Osnabrück University’s Department of Information Management und Information Systems (IMWI) and participates in the Lower Saxony innovation network SmartHybrid.