CMS | Cognitive Mobile Systems

The Cognitive Mobile Systems (CMS) department studies scientific issues in the context of mobile single- and multi-robot systems management. Mobile robot systems are tools that make it possible to carry out dangerous work from a distance. In so doing, they enable the protection of deployed personnel.

Reliable execution of more complex tasks is very difficult using today's standard direct remote control (teleoperation) of robot systems. By developing methods for spatial environmental perception and intelligent control and planning procedures, the department increases the autonomous capabilities of robot systems with the aim of purely supervisory management of multi-robot systems. Where direct remote control of individual robot systems remains necessary, more intuitive solutions are achieved with the aid of intelligent assistance functions.

Based on these new developments, the department designs and implements innovative prototype applications for single- and multi-robot systems in order to evaluate the current state of performance of the systems together with potential users.

Support for unmanned systems 

The Autonomous Mobility & Experimental Systems research group designs and develops prototype applications for ground-based unmanned systems used in safety-critical tasks. Its research centers on issues of interoperability and the modularity of software and hardware. Another focus of the group are algorithms for autonomous navigation of different drive and sensor configurations.


Intelligent assistance and intuitive operation 

In the Environment Recognition, Mobile Manipulation & Multi-Robot Interaction research group, the focus is on intelligent assistance functions and intuitive operating concepts for the effective use of unmanned systems. Sensor-based 3D environment models and modules for semi-automated manipulation support the operator in controlling the system. Innovative methods for coordination, exploration and navigation are also being researched for the use of multiple robots. 



  • Robotics lab
  • Various robot systems



  • euRobotics AISBL - International non-profit association for all stakeholders in European robotics
  • HFM-RTG 247 - Human-Autonomy Teaming: Supporting Dynamically Adjustable Collaboration
  • ERNCIP TG RN - European Reference Network for Critical Infrastructure Protection – Thematic Group »Radiological and Nuclear Threats to Critical Infrastructure«
  • NATO Science & Technology Organization
  • NATO IST-127/RSM-3 - Specialists Meeting on »Intelligence & Autonomy (Robotics)«
  • NATO IST-149/RTG-071 - Capability Concept Demonstrator for Interoperability within Unmanned Ground Systems and C2
  • IEC 45/PT 63048 - General requirements for remote and unmanned automatic devices for nuclear and radiological applications



  • Robotics - University of Bonn 

Robots practice for nuclear emergencies

An accident occurs at nuclear power station; an explosion near the reactor. What is the current situation in the building? Is it in danger of collapse? Has radiation leaked? Using people to clarify the situation is out of the question. Dispatching personnel would be far too dangerous. It all depends on them now: the robots! But are they advanced enough to provide reliable support? The »European Robotics Hackathon (EnRicH)« offers an opportunity to find out.


Experimental CBRNE robots

When tasks are too dangerous for humans, robots provide support. CBRNE reconnaissance is a prime example of such a task. Despite having the right equipment and extensive training, a danger to life and limb for the armed forces and emergency services can never be completely ruled out. Here is where robots equipped with CBRNE sensor technology and autonomous assistance functions can take over for humans.


German Rescue Robotics Center

Every year in Germany, 1.3 million firefighters carry out some 3.9 million missions and, in the process, are repeatedly exposed to considerable danger to life and limb. In the future, therefore, the goal is to support them with robots. In pursuit of this goal, 13 project partners - among them, Fraunhofer FKIE - launched the »German Rescue Robotics Center«.

#ECMR2021 - European Conference on Mobile Robots

The department »Cognitive Mobile Systems« (CMS) at Fraunhofer FKIE is strongly committed to the further development of robotics. The scientists regularly realize the competitions »European Robotics Hackathon« (EnRicH) and »European Land Robot Trial« (ELROB) to test systems in mission-like scenarios and to obtain data for further research.

Video drive through the 3D point cloud, recorded in the Zwentendorf Nuclear Power Plant at the EnRicH 2019.

Additional information about EnRicH can be found in the two-part interview »Roboter für den Störfall« (in German) with FKIE scientist and robotics expert Boris Illing.

Interview part 1 | Interview part 2


Further videos on YouTube: »European Robotics«

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#ECMR2021 – Dataset for Aerial Visual Localization (AerVisLoc)

Autonomous Driving has made large progress in the past. Visual Localization is one of the key ingredients for its performance making autonomous navigation safe and reliable. But what about autonomous flight?

Fraunhofer FKIE scientists have collected a large-scale outdoor dataset for aerial visual localization and are making it freely accessible to the academic community after registration. This allows researchers to investigate and evaluate visual localization techniques in a challenging aerial setting and develop novel techniques tailored to the task.

Additional information and download links can be found on the dedicated website:

© Fraunhofer FKIE

European Robotics Hackathon (EnRicH)

Organised by CMS


European Land Robot Trial (ELROB)

Organised by CMS


Image collection: ELROB and EnRicH events