09.07.2018

55th Stallwächterparty: Walking Robot "LAURON" on a Planetary Exploration Mission

The FZI in the fourth year at the Stallwächterparty of the Representation of Baden-Württemberg in Berlin

On July 5th, the 55th Stallwächterparty of the Representation of Baden-Württemberg will take place under the motto "ARTEN VIELFALT LEBEN" (SPECIES DIVERSITY LIFE). The motto is meant to show that it is also possible to live in harmony with nature in an industrial and technological state such as Baden-Württemberg. The FZI Research Center for Information Technology is also participating in the annual Stallwächterparty. In line with the motto, the FZI presents the project "intelliRISK" with the help of the walking robot "LAURON" that was designed and controlled by the researchers of the FZI who were inspired by biology. LAURON's biological model is the Indian stick insect.

Intelligent robots with self-confidence

In the project "intelliRISK", researchers of the FZI are working on giving robots like LAURON the ability to act more autonomously and more flexibly on planetary exploration missions. The FZI robot is trained to estimate risks independently, consciously weigh up situations and make appropriate decisions, for example when it is standing on a steep slope. Since the success of space missions is often more important than potential damages to the hardware of the robot, the intelligence of the system is decisive. That means that the robot usually still acts cautiously and carefully at the beginning, but later, towards the end of its lifetime, makes more courageous decisions to achieve the aim of the mission.

From Berlin directly into space with Augmented and Virtual Reality

At the Stallwächterparty, the project "intelliRISK" is presented to the guests through the construction of a landscape similar to Mars. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and supported by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Walking robot LAURON moves through the landscape and has to overcome diverse obstacles, while visitors can see through virtual reality glasses how the robot experiences the scenario. Thus, potential obstacles such as stones and lava rivers are highlighted in colour. Moreover, guests receive information on how LAURON assesses its own usability, for example by highlighting damaged or heavily stressed components in colour. In this way, the audience can understand how and why the robot makes certain decisions. Researchers of the FZI will introduce the guests to the virtual reality system and provide background knowledge on the project.

Experience live on Facebook and Twitter

Experience LAURON at the Stallwächterparty 2018 in action. Get to know more about the FZI exhibit and the event, here and on the social media channels of the FZI or under the hashtags #astroLAURON, #intelliRISK and #Stallwaechterparty.

Contact person and project manager: Arne Roennau