The ZEN-MRI project team looks ahead to 2024

At a full-day consortium meeting with all project participants at the end of last year, the focus was on discussing project activities and the status quo as well as taking a look at the 2024 projects. New milestones and even more tangible results await this year.

At the end of last year, the ZEN-MRI project team spent an entire day in intensive discussions and sharing ideas. This involved a consortium meeting at m25 in Ulm, where we first looked back together on the first year of the project and the individual work packages, from which the individual project partners had a lot to report and provided valuable insights. In the workshop, they put their heads together and talked animatedly as a team about how the year 2024 should be shaped at the ZEN-MRI research center and which particular key activities are on the agenda.


At the beginning of the year, a catalog of requirements with recommendations for the design of interaction for autonomous (service) robots in public spaces will be compiled. The project team is also looking forward to a meeting with the project sponsor VDI/VDE-IT. The ADLATUS delivery robot is due to start driving in the spring. Several project partners will also further specify and prioritize the central use cases based on the results of our studies from 2023, which will then be incorporated into the generation of patterns as a basis for the implementation of initial interaction strategies. The patterns will be developed iteratively by Fraunhofer IAO.

The field and stakeholder studies in the University of Ulm’s mix of methods will be conducted in three waves. They began at the start of 2023 with the first field studies and thus with evaluation wave 1. In 2024, the second wave of field studies based on the first iteration of the robots’ interaction strategies is now due in the third quarter. What does that mean in concrete terms? It means that there is room to adapt the robots between the waves. While the first round is about what is changed or newly implemented, the second is about the specification of this and the “how”. This means that major studies are also planned for 2024 and more concrete results can be shared soon.