Robotics and Human-Machine Interaction

In the industrial domain as well as in daily life, robots are spreading in all areas. Difficulties arise especially if the human acts in the workspace of the robot. Thus, a suitable environmental perception is indispensable for a successful interaction between human and robot. This requires acquisition of reliable sensor data, interfaces adapted to the human and intuitive interaction strategies. We at the Measurement and Sensor Technology Group achieve this by building on our hardware competences and interdisciplinary cooperations with psychologists, industrial engineers and medical experts.

Human-Machine Interaction

3D Input with Haptic Feedback to the User

The omega.7 from force dimension can be used like a 3D mouse with additionally programmable haptic feedback to the user. For instance, we can map complex impedance behavior to the handle.

Vibrotactile Feedback

Prototype of the vibrotactile feedback device.

The vibrotactile illusion (blue) is induced by two active actuators (red) and enables feedback not only at the actuator (grey) positions but along the full circumference.

A subject using the graphical user interface during an experiment.

Motion Capture System

In order to assure appropriate robot behavior during an interaction, the human's behavior has to be measured. Among other methods, we capture the human's motions based on inertial measurement units (IMUs).

Robot Out of the Printer

In his Bachelor's thesis, Felix Herbst designed this easy to manufacture prototype of a 3D printed 6-axis robot. It is now in its third generation and has been replicated for use across multiple experiments. More information about the backgrounds in this article (German only) by Mareike Hochschild.

Continuum Robot

In contrast to conventional rigid-link robots, continuum robots feature a continuous backbone which replaces vertebrates. The flexible structure offers new capabilities such as performing full body deformation. Continuous joints also remove the dependency on small discrete joints and therefore enable the possibility of advanced miniaturization. Applications for continuum robots are broad including search and rescue operations, object manipulation, and interventional medicine.

A continuum robot actuates 90° upwards.

The head of the continuum robot is exchangeable with various modules.

The camera module can be used to explore rough terrain.


Exoskeletons are wearable robotic systems that enhance the power and assist the accuracy of both healthy and disabled individuals. By combining the best of both worlds we can design intelligent human-machine systems for power-assistance, rehabilitation, teleoperation and haptic interaction in virtual reality.