(10/2018 – 09/2022)

The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of the funding program “Civil Security – Innovation Laboratories / Competence Centers for Robotic Systems in Hostile Environments” (Grant No. 13N14852 to 13N14863) civil security 2012 to 2017 “of the Federal Government. The peculiarity of the project lies in its structure and sustainable orientation: Through the association “German Rescue Robotics Center e.V.” (DRZ e.V.), which was already founded by the project partners as carrier organization, the competence center is to be set up and operated and, after a possible further funding phase, to continue in the long term.

Forces encounter a variety of challenges in their daily work. Despite training, tactical concepts and protective equipment, thousands of emergency personnel are injured or killed each year worldwide. With the advancing technical development, it is foreseeable that mobile robot systems will take over tasks to make the deployment process more efficient and, above all, safer. The requirements for the supporting rescue robot systems are complex and varied.

The establishment of the competence center A-DRZ aims to promote the use of robotic systems in civilian terrestrial security in an anti-human environment. The basis for this are the four guiding scenarios fire, collapse & spill, detection of hazardous substances and flooding and the resulting challenges to rescue robots. For this purpose, among other things, a so-called Living Lab, d. H. a laboratory with an adjoining experimental area, in which scientists, companies and users can jointly research the best possible solutions for supporting rescue robots and test them in realistic test environments.

The implementation of the A-DRZ will create a national competence center with international appeal. For the first time in Germany, emergency services, researchers and industry will be working on the realization of autonomous rescue robots and the establishment of a national and international robotics task force. In addition, test and test criteria will be developed to ensure later standardization and certification of different robot systems.

For more information about the A-DRZ project, contact Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová (email) or visit A-DRZ page.


Intuitive-nonverbal and informative-verbal robot-human communication
(1.6.2018 – 31.5.2021)

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research within the “Research Program on Human-Technology-Interaction: Bringing Technology to People“ , funding focus “Robots for Assistance Functions: interaction strategies“ (FKZ 16SV7979)

The best possible design of robot-human communication plays an essential role in the care sector. The acceptance of new technologies depends in particular on whether the robot’s intention becomes clear to humans through its behavior.

The INTUITIV project aims to develop non-verbal and verbal forms of communication on the example of application in the rehabilitation sector. The focus here is on investigating the approaching dynamics, avoidance strategies and movement trajectories of an autonomous robot in the hospital environment. The aim is to establish understanding and trust for patients and caregivers in the actions of the robotic system. The influence of iconic information in the form of sounds, displays, simulated eye movements, etc. on perceptibility and the need for appropriate use of linguistic communication is also analysed. Thus, a situation-adapted selection of the most appropriate interaction possibility is to be guaranteed. The long-term adaptation of communication to a user can thus be made possible and dynamically developed through an iterative evaluation process.

The reliable interpretation and predictability of robotic action are key factors in achieving user-centered robotic-human communication. Language processing, dialog design and navigation in hospital rooms are therefore addressed focuses of the project.

For more information about the INTUITIV project, contact Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová (email).


(March 2015 – February 2019)PAL

Integrated research project funded by the EU Horizon2020 Programme, grant Nr. 643783-PAL

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) portraits a high need and challenge for self-management by young patients: a complex illness with a high and increasing prevalence, a regimen that needs adaptation to patient’s condition and activities, and serious risks for complications and reduced life expectations. When patients do not acquire the knowledge, skills and habits to adhere to their diabetes regimen at childhood, these risks increase suddenly at adolescence. Current mHealth applications have their own specific value for self-management, but are unable to deliver the required comprehensive, prolonged, personalised and context-sensitive support and to reduce these risks persistently. We aim at a Personal Assistant for healthy Lifestyle (PAL) that provides such support, assisting the child, health professional and parent to advance the self-management of children with type 1 diabetes aged 7 – 14, so that an adequate shared patient-caregiver responsibility for child’s diabetes regimen is established before adolescence. The PAL system is composed of a social robot, its (mobile) avatar, and an extendable set of (mobile) health applications (diabetes diary, educational quizzes, sorting games, etc.), which all connect to a common knowledge-base and reasoning mechanism. The robot and avatar act as a child’s pal or companion, whereas health professionals and parents are supported by, respectively, an Authoring & Control and a Monitor & Inform tool. The PAL-project will assess the benefits of the behavioural change on patients’ health conditions, and the profits for the caregivers in longitudinal field experiments. The consortium provides the required network, expertise and tools for this research: (a) a knowledge-driven co-design methodology and tool, (b) medical, human factors and technical expertise, (c) end-user participation and (d) initial PAL building-blocks.

For more information about the PAL project, contact Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová (email).




(January 2014 – October 2017)

TRADR is an integrated research project funded by the EU FP7 Programme, ICT: Cognitive systems, interaction, robotics (Project Nr. 60963). Using a proven-in-practice user-centric design methodology, TRADR develops novel S&T for human-robot teams to assist in disaster response efforts, over multiple missions: The novel S&T makes experience persistent. Various kinds of robots collaborate with human team members to explore the environment, and gather physical samples. Throughout this collaborative effort, TRADR enables the team to gradually develop its understanding of the disaster area over, multiple possibly asynchronous missions (persistent environment models), to improve team members’ understanding of how to work in the area (persistent multi-robot action models), and to improve team-work (persistent human-robot teaming).

For more information about the TRADR project, contact Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová (email) or check out the TRADR consortium website.



(September 2014 – August 2016)

HySociaTea is a DFKI-wide integration project set in the factory of the future, where humans collaborate with robots to improve their flexibility and productivity. The human workers and the robots communicate via multi-modal interfaces, including speech; our HySociaTea team is involved in the linguistic analysis of this communication, and with capturing the teamwork aspect of the system — drawing on the experience we have been gathering in NIFTi and TRADR.

For more information about our part of the project, contact Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová (email) or check out these websites: Hysociatea under DFKI projects or the Hysociatea project website.


Finished Projects


(March 2010 – August 2014)

The goal of ALIZ-E is to develop novel methods for developing and testing interactive, mobile robots which will be able to socially interact with human users over extended periods of time, i.e. a possibly non-continuous succession of interactions which can refer back to, and build forth on, previous experiences.

For more information about the ALIZ-E project, contact Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová (email) or check out the ALIZ-E consortium website.



(January 2010 – December 2013)

NIFTi investigates robots that can cooperate with humans in a natural way.

NIFTi places this investigation in the setting of Urban Search and Rescue (USAR). NIFTi works together with several European rescue organizations, to build robots that integrate cognitive user models, situation awareness, flexible planning, and adaptive forms of human-robot interaction.

For more information about the NIFTi project, contact Ivana Kruijff-Korbayová (email) or check out the NIFTi consortium website.


(May 2008 – July 2012)

The CogX project is an integrated project funded in the EU’s Seventh Framework, as part of the Cognitive Systems program. The aim of the project is to investigate the fundaments of cognitive systems for robots which can figure out what do and do not know, and use this “introspection” to guide their learning. At the DFKI, we focus on situated dialogue for human-robot interaction, particularly on using dialogue for interactive forms of learning.

For more information about the CogX project, check out the CogX consortium website.




The CoSy project is an integrated project funded in the EU’s Sixth Framework, as part of the Cognitive Systems program. The aim of the project is to investigate the fundaments of cognitive systems for embodied systems. At the DFKI, we focus on the nature of embodied interaction, including (acquiring) perceptual grounding, the relation between collaborative action and interaction, and learning through language.

For more information about the CoSy project, check out the CoSy consortium website .