Heavy-duty robots as colleagues

Hall 17, Booth C24/28

Humans and heavy-duty robots working together in a shared non-enclosed space is currently extremely dangerous. For the first time Fraunhofer IWU presents a safety concept at the HMI, which is the prerequisite for humans and large robots working together. This safety concept defines various levels of interaction: the closer the interaction, the higher the level and the stricter the safety rules. While this concept had only been used in the testing facilities of Fraunhofer IWU at the time of Hannover Messe 2017, it has now entered industrial reality: a manufacturer of sanitary facilities in the region of the Ore Mountains in Saxony uses this concept to spare the employees from heavy-duty work. The four colleagues made of steel sort heavy steel frames onto transport frames. As a result, the cycle time of the plant has been reduced by 50 percent and the ergonomic aspects have been considerably improved. Using VR glasses, visitors can interact with a virtual heavy-duty robot at full speed and experience the convincing safety of the system.


Benefits for the customer:

  • Physical relief of the employee
  • Increase in efficiency due to endurance, speed and range of heavy-duty robots
  • Increase of the space utilization level due to omission of safety fences


Unique selling proposition:

  • First-time realization of an application of Human-Robot Interaction in the heavy-duty range



  • Automotive and aerospace industry
  • Mechanical engineering and plant construction