In short clips we inform about current research activities of the department. Further information can be found here.

RobMoSys – an EU Digital Industrial Platform for Robotics

In the realm of advanced software engineering methods and tools, model-driven engineering demonstrated to be a key driver to manage system complexity in many engineering domains. RobMoSys brings a model-driven support to the robotics software community, particularily targeting the autonomous nature of robotics systems and their validation.

To this end RobMoSys adopts a composition-oriented approach that manages, maintains and assures system-level properties, while preserving modularity and independence of existing robotics frameworks and code bases. The RobMoSys project team will be involving the robotics and software community to harmonise robotics model specifications, establish a common open methodology for software development, improve tools and foster interoperability by model interchange and composability.

RobMoSys is an European Research and Innovation project within the Horizon 2020 Framework (H2020 ICT-26 c with cascaded funding). The project is coordinated by the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (France). Further partners include COMAU (Italy), Eclipse Foundation Europe (Germany), EUnited AISBL (Belgium), Hochschule Ulm (Germany), KU Leuven (Belgium), PAL ROBOTICS (Spain), SIEMENS (Germany) and Technical University of Munich (Germany).

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Anna Principato, Public Relations Specialist Department of Informatics; Chair for Robotics, Artifical Intelligence and Embedded Systems

EU project ECHORD ++ receives "summa cum laude"

"Excellent" and "our expectations were by far exceeded" — these were some of the statements that international experts made end of March as an overall conclusion to the end of the EU project ECHORD++. ECHORD++ had a runtime of five years and was coordinated under the direction of Prof. Alois Knoll of the Technical University of Munich (TUM). ECHORD++ supervised application-oriented projects from almost all areas of robotics research and application: Robots as assistant systems in hospital operations, for rehabilitation, in agriculture, logistics, the service industry, for monitoring public sewers, as thinking employees in production and waste management and many other use cases. The very diverse application areas of the project brought together partners from many European countries. According to Professor Knoll, ECHORD++ faced the "absurd" problem that scientists applied in close collaboration with industrial partners for over 250 research projects, but only 32 of them were approved and funded. In the end, ECHORD++ had the largest network in robotics with almost 110 project partners and more than 1000 participants from Iceland to Spain.

Although each individual project was only funded for 18 months and some of the projects have just recently been completed, four startup companies were created, with more waiting in the wings. This was made possible by the strict alignment of the projects with the needs of the market and the close cooperation with corresponding industrial partners. For example, in collaboration with two Swedish recycling companies (Stena Recycling and Refind Technologies), a robot has emerged that can differentiate and sort batteries and accumulators.

During the lifetime of ECHORD++, three so-called Robotic Innovation Facilities (RIFs) were set up: in Bristol (Great Britain), in Paris-Saclay (France), and in Pontedera (Italy). These centers offer free access to high-tech robotic equipment and expertise for SMEs within the European Union. The RIFs will continue to exist, as the inflow of small enterprises is enormous and so is their economic success. There are plans to link these centers more closely in the future, and thus to increase their success through synergy effects.

Another innovation in ECHORD++ was the introduction of Public End-user Driven Technological Innovation (PDTI), a new way of funding for the public sector. Two areas of application seemed particularly suitable: robots for monitoring the urban sewers and robots for the comprehensive geriatric diagnostics in hospitals. With the concept of PDTI facilitation, four promising projects should be put into deployment as soon as possible in close cooperation with hospitals and municipalities. Together with the city council of Barcelona, a moving and a flying robot were created to monitor the narrow sewers. They send images to the outside in real time, thus saving employees from having to climb in person into these tight and unpleasant working premises. As part of the review, the evaluators were able to watch the operation of these two robots "live" in Barcelona, well protected of course.

The two different concepts for a comprehensive geriatric examination include the so-called Barthel test, which assesses the ability of elderly patients to cope with everyday life and their mobility. These tasks are performed automatically by the robot without the need of a doctor. This saves a considerable amount of time in hospital operation because the doctor is already fully informed in advance and can plan therapy or support measures accordingly.

ECHORD++ already had a predecessor: ECHORD. Altogether more than ten years of robotics technology could be developed and researched. The European Union has invested almost 39 million euros in total and has taken a completely new approach. Unlike before, it entrusted this funding in its entirety to the consortium, which in turn developed and published relevant calls for research topics and evaluated them scientifically together with international experts. 80% of the funding went to projects outside the core consortium. "Automation, robotics and artificial intelligence are the core technologies that our society will have to deal with in the future," says Prof. Knoll. “It is enormously important that the EU supports this research and development with substantial funding in order to keep the European robotics industry at the forefront.”

ESMERA boosts Robotics in Europe

The EU-funded robotics project ESMERA (European SMEs Robotics Applications) is part of the European Commission´s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. It aims to boost robotics innovation by European Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). ESMERA promotes applied robotics technology developed for industrial challenges set by key European companies. Thereby the SMEs get a chance to implement, apply and prove new technologies that address real-life problems and thus already have a market.

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Face2Face: Real-time Face Capture and Reenactment of RGB Videos

Justus Thies (TUM), Michael Zollhöfer (Stanford University), Marc Stamminger (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg), Christian Theobalt (Max-Planck-Institute for Informatics, Saarbrücken) and Matthias Nießner (TUM) present a novel approach for real-time facial reenactment of a monocular target video sequence (e.g. Youtube video). The source sequence is also a monocular video stream, captured live with a commodity webcam. Their goal is to animate the facial expressions of the target video by a source actor and re-render the manipulated output video in a photo-realistic fashion. They demonstrate their method in a live setup, where Youtube videos are reenacted in real time.

See the video

Read the article in "Communications of the ACM" January 2019 (Vol. 62, No. 1)

New quality certification for cloud service providers

The volume of digital data produced and stored by companies is growing. Cloud technology offers a convenient solution: IT service providers offer storage space or software which enables data to be saved remotely. But how can companies be sure that their data is protected against unauthorized access or deletion...
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Casting call for clouds

Compare any movie from the early nineties with one from 2017, and you’ll see just how far moviemakers have progressed in their use of CGI – computer generated imagery – for realistically simulating either parts of or entire scenes in a movie. Nonetheless, natural-looking smoke and clouds remain among the most difficult effects to simulate…
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New insights into the 2004 Sumatra megathrust earthquake

Scientists in Munich have completed the first detailed simulation of the Sumatra earthquake that triggered a devastating tsunami on Christmas 2004. The results of the largest-ever rupture dynamics simulation of an earthquake offer new insights into the underlying geophysical processes...
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How does Grounded Theory Methodology contribute to Information Systems research?

A recent article by Manuel Wiesche, Marlen Jurisch, Philip Yetton, and Helmut Krcmar published in MIS Quarterly, one of the most prestigious journals in the Information Systems (IS) discipline, sheds light on the use of Grounded Theory Methodology in IS research...
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ECHORD++ - from lab to market

The EU-funded Research and Innovations project ECHORD++ (The European Coordination Hub for Open Robotics Development) aims to strengthen the knowledge transfer between scientific research, industry and users in robotics and to stimulate their cooperation...
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Clear view on stem cell development

Today, tracking the development of individual cells and spotting the associated factors under the microscope is nothing unusual. However, impairments like shadows or changes in the background complicate the interpretation of data. Now, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Helmholtz Zentrum München have developed a software that corrects images to make hitherto hidden development steps visible...
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We are much more unique than assumed

Every human being has a unique DNA "fingerprint". In other words, the genetic material of any two individuals can be clearly distinguished. Computational biologists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now determined that the impact of these variations has been greatly underestimated. The new insights could importantly impact advances in personalized medicine...
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Beyond the Limits of our Eyes

Nowadays, surgeons can access a wealth of information about their patients. X-rays, CT scans and MRI images reveal structures inside the body that are usually not visible to the naked eye. In the middle of an operation, however, physicians have to rely on their own senses...
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Looking Ahead - into our Real and Virtual Future

Whether through data glasses, a smartphone or a tablet – augmented reality (AR) enriches our physical surroundings with virtual information in real time, making complex concepts or settings easier to understand...
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Revealing the Clockwork of Life

With the aid of artificial intelligence, Prof. Burkhard Rost and his team are developing methods to investigate the inner workings of our cells...
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How Computers Learn to Understand our World

Artificial Intelligence is everywhere in our life. Have you noticed that your camera automatically detects faces when you try to take a photo? Your favorite online music streaming service or video platform analyzes what you play and when you hit pause...
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The supercomputers of tomorrow need new software to perform a billion billion computer operations per second

A billion billion, i.e. 1018 computer operations per second (1 exaflop/s) is the level of performance that the next generation of supercomputers should be able to deliver. However, programming such supercomputers is a challenge...
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GLASSCHAIR - Get Mobile. Independently

Mobility constitutes an indispensable aspect of everyday life that is usually taken for granted. Nevertheless, there are many people indeed, whose mobility options are so heavily constrained that their movement is only possible through external help. GLASSCHAIR eliminates this dependence: As a Google Glass application for driving a wheelchair in a hands-free fashion, it offers these people independent mobility via head movements...
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IT Management with Enterprise Architecture

Organizations are facing the challenge of having to support even more complicated processes with more and more linked data going through IT systems. Simultaneously, they must constantly adapt these IT systems to even faster changing technical and business requirements. In order to meet the requirements of this continuously growing complexity, the interaction between the elements in IT and the business elements, the so-called enterprise architecture, must be analyzed, planned and controlled...
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Autonomous Quadrocopters

In recent years, quadrocopters – which are small helicopters with four rotors – have experienced a surge in popularity. They are no longer only used as a research platform or high-tech toys, but also commercially for real-world applications, such as for aerial video recording with spectacular camera stunts, for inspection tasks, or for the surveillance of hazardous situations...
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Prof. Hans-Arno Jacobsen

Prof. Hans-Arno Jacobsen enjoys the reputation of a leading, international, technically adept researcher on the threshold between informatics, information technology and information systems...
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Future topic: Software Development in High Performance Computing

The German Research Foundation (DFG) regards the redesign of software development in high performance computing as one of the main future challenges. Thus the DFG is first starting the priority program “Software for Exascale Computing (SPPEXA)” from the president’s strategy fund...
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IdeaStream - Situative Creativity Support

Touch based multi display environments provide an ideal basis for co-located creativity support due to their potential benefits in regard to communication, coordination and interpretation. This video demonstrates an example application supporting collaborative creativity techniques on a tabletop display combined with coupled iPad devices...
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Computational Biologist Prof. Burkhard Rost

Burkhard Rost is one of the researchers who has decisively shaped the development of bioinformatics into the indispensable discipline we know today. In 2008 Rost came from Columbia University to the Technical University Munich...
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A Look into the Body – Augmented Reality in Computer Aided Surgery

Computer scientists from the TU München and surgeons from LMU develop a computer aided visualisation and navigation system. This system allows for more precise keyhole surgery. The system is to be tested clinically in the coming months...
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Standard humanoid robots mimic the human form, but the mechanisms used in such robots are very different from those in humans, and the characteristics of the robots reflect this. This places severe limitations on the kinds of interactions such robots can engage in, on the knowledge they can acquire of their environment, and therefore on the nature of their cognitive engagement with the environment. However, a new kind of robot is being developed...
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Realtime 3D Reconstruction

The Vision Group at the CAMP chair is working on a real-time 3D reconstruction system aimed at recovering the 3D shape of objects inside a working area using only camera images. The working area is observed by 16 cameras mounted on the ceiling. Using these images we reconstruct an occupancy map and extract individual objects...
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Realtime Detection and Tracking

The Vision Group at the CAMP chair is working i.a. on real-time detection and tracking of arbitrary objects. Tracking is the process of finding the pose of an object relative to the camera. To fulfill this task, a priori information can be taken into account (Tracking) or dropped (Tracking-by-Detection). The former method results in a more efficient performance but fails if the object movement is too big...
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Discrepancy Check

Construction companies employ CAD software during the planning phase but what is finally built often does not match the original plan. The procedure of validating the model is called 'discrepancy check'. The system proposed here allows the user to easily obtain an augmentation in order to find differences between the planned 3D model and the built items...
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Intelligent Room

Chair 9 deals with the understanding of images and knowledge-based systems. A project describes the Smart Room. Smart Rooms know about their own dimensions and about the persons present. This so-called context know-how encompasses the identity, position, moving direction, mood and the occupation of every person...
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DOLLI Project

The DOLLI project was a large-scale educational student project course conducted by the chair for applied software engineering and involved a real customer, the Munich Airport. In the time frame of a single semester a functional system was developed and delivered to the customer...
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Software Cartography

This video illustrates the developed Software Cartography approach since 2004 from the chair of Prof. Matthes (Software Engineering for Operational Information Systems), in order for complex software environments in large companies (e.g. Banks, Insurance Companies, Airports, Automobile Manufacturers, Telecommunications companies) to be described through intuitive graphical representations...
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Motion Planning

Computationally efficient motion planning avoids exhaustive exploration of high-dimensional configuration spaces by leveraging the structure present in real-world planning problems. We argue that this can be accomplished most effectively by carefully balancing exploration and exploitation...
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Joint-Action Science and Technology

The EU-funded JAST project is investigating the cognitive, neural, and communicative aspects of jointly-acting agents. This video shows a robot developed at the lab for Robotics and Embedded Systems at TUM as part of the project. The robot is able to build objects from wooden construction toys in cooperation with a human partner...
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Visual Positioning Alleviates 3D Scanning

This efficient and accurate visual localization system allows real-time positioning of the hand-held DLR 3D Modeler. As result of a cooperation of the Lab of Robotics and Embedded Systems at TUM and the Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics at DLR a visual localization system emerged, which provides online positioning based on a monocular system...
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I6 Tracking Compilation

Nowadays tracking different rigid, articulated and deformable targets (such as people, body parts and objects) in real-time is a very important task for the perception-cognition-action loop of technical systems. Example application scenarios include, but are not limited to, side by side human-machine-interaction, autonomous (re-)acting of robots based on their environment, and enforcing safety requirements...
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