About Us

The DFKI Robotics Innovation Center (RIC) is a young, dynamically growing field of research at the DFKI with international character. Currently, a staff of around 140 employees from all over the world works here in research and development. Up to 60 student assistants support the individual projects. The Robotics Innovation Center closely cooperates with the Robotics Group at the University of Bremen.

The Robotics Innovation Center team benefits from interdisciplinary cooperation: computer scientists and design engineers meet biologists, mathematicians, computer linguists, industrial designers, electro engineers, physicists, and psychologists in order to jointly develop mobile robot systems. The design accords to latest mechatronic developments and programming based on complex, massive-parallel embedded systems solutions.

In the framework of direct industrial orders or publicly funded joint projects, the Robotics Innovation Center designs and realizes intelligent robots for a variety of fields of application, such as space, underwater, electric mobility, logistics, production and consumer (LPC), SAR (Search and Rescue) and security robotics, and assistance- and rehabilitation systems. The focus lies on a rapid transfer of results of basic research into real-world applications.

The DFKI Robotics Innovation Center actively supports the compatibility of family and career. An in-house childcare facility is offered for emergencies where DFKI employees’ children may be looked after by qualified kindergarten teachers in terms of a full-day care service.

From the RIC branch office in Osnabrück to the new DFKI site:
In 2011, a branch of the Robotics Innovation Center opened at the University of Osnabrück under the direction of Prof. Dr. Joachim Hertzberg. With the application focus on agriculture, the Osnabrück scientists developed algorithms for the plan-based control of autonomous robots. Due to the strong growth of the Bremen research department and the intensification of cooperation with the state of Lower Saxony, the Plan-Based Robot Control (PBR) research department, together with two other newly founded research departments at the universities of Osnabrück and Oldenburg, has formed the DFKI Laboratory Lower Saxony since April 2019.
On July 1, 2022, the DFKI Laboratory Lower Saxony with its two branches in Osnabrück and Oldenburg became the fourth location of the DFKI: Location Lower Saxony

Intelligent robotics from Bremen – working on the ground, underwater, in space and for the human

AI-enabled robotics can be applied in many areas of Industry4.0 to support workers and increase productivity – whether by relieving from physical stress in logistics or allowing for safe man-machine interaction in production environments. But the robots of the DFKI also have the advantage of being able to reach extreme environments: They can be used for decontamination purposes in high-risk areas or inspect and maintain underwater structures, for which they are tested in the North Sea near Helgoland.

Robotics Innovation Center: Corporate Film 2018

This corporate movie introduces the DFKI Robotics Innovation Center.

Facts and Figures

Founded: 2006 as DFKI laboratory,
as of 2009 third full DFKI location 
Number of employees: 140 and around 60 student assistants 
Application Areas:Space Robotics;
Underwater Robotics;
Electric Mobility;
Logistics, Production and Consumer (LPC);
Search and Rescue (SAR) & Security Robotics;
Assistance- and Rehabilitation Systems;


Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Frank Kirchner
Leitung Robotics Innovation Center
Telefon: +49 421 17845 4101
E-Mail: Frank.Kirchner[at]dfki.de

last updated 10.01.2024