Ideas for four additional robot functions

In co-creation workshops organised by the Fraunhofer IAO, functional areas of robots – in addition to their main activities – were developed that could make public spaces safer, more efficient or more pleasant.

The ZEN-MRI project is researching a number of focal topics, including innovative additional functions of the robots from Adlatus Robotics. Additional functions describe tasks that cleaning and delivery robots perform in addition to their main activities. Deriving such innovative additional functions for robots was the main objective of several co-creation workshops organised by the Fraunhofer IAO in July 2023. A cleaning robot, a sweeping robot and a transport robot from Adlatus Robotics GmbH were used as the starting point for the test persons considerations.

Participants select four additional functions

To define additional functions, the Fraunhofer IAO team used specially developed, scientifically sound creative methods as part of the co-creation workshops. From the various ideas, the participants ultimately selected four functional areas that the cleaning robots could take on in public spaces in addition to their actual tasks (cleaning):

  • Collecting data (e.g. on ground damage or special cleaning needs in the city)
  • Transporting objects (for private individuals, such as luggage, but also using B2B products – i.e. in a business context for goods)
  • Help in emergency situations (e.g. storage and transport of medical equipment such as a first aid kit or defibrillator)
  • Provide information (can be used by citizens or the city administration: e.g. information on the current weather situation, point of interest for tourists in Ulm)


Develop concepts in additional co-creation workshops

The additional functions will be worked out with expert groups in further co-creation workshops in the coming year and implementation options for interaction with people in Ulm will be discussed. The aim is to develop detailed concepts for the functions and corresponding behaviour and design of the robots in various everyday scenarios.

Have we piqued your interest? Are you a medical professional, first aider or retailer in Ulm? Or do you know people who might be motivated to further develop the additional functions mentioned above as part of creative workshops? Then we would be delighted to hear from you! If you are interested in taking part, please send an e-mail to Christine Busch (christine.busch@iao.fraunhofer.de).