DLR is Germany's national research centre for aeronautics and space. Its extensive research and development work in aeronautics, space, transportation and energy is integrated into national and international cooperative ventures. Research carried out in the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics (DLR-RM) is based on the interdisciplinary design, computer-aided optimization and simulation as well as implementation of complex mechatronic systems and man-machine interfaces. The institute is regarded as one of the worldwide leading institutions in the field of robotics.
The main role of DLR-RM in the project is focused on development of advanced coordinated control for manipulator and helicopter considering the dynamics of both subsystems. In addition, DLR-RM will work on human-machine interface for remote control of manipulation tasks and on fast generation of 3D-models. DLR-RM will also be responsible for experiments with outdoor helicopters.
The institute has a high level of competence and long experience in developing novel robotics technologies. In 1993, the institute sent the first remote-controlled robot ROTEX into outer space with the space shuttle COLUMBIA, in 1999 it remotely programmed the Japanese ETS VII robot which was the first to fly freely in the universe. In 2004 the institute has successfully tested the joints of its next lightweight robot generation on the space station and thus also demonstrated concepts of tele-presence. Together with the 4-finger artificial hands developed at the institute, the main components for the robonauts of the future also originate here. The system for load transportation with multiple autonomous helicopters was developed in the laboratory for flying robots at TU Berlin, which was completely moved to DLR-RM in 2009. Using this system, the worldwide first successful flight experiment with three autonomous helicopters transporting a load was demonstrated in 2008 in the scope of the AWARE project. DLR-RM has a big fleet of different helicopter platforms, which can be used in the project.