Whether robot vacuums or robot lawn mowers - the first automated helpers have long since arrived in German households. With the increasing digitalization of the economy and society, the areas of application for service and assistance robots will also grow steadily outside of industry. The transfer center RimA (Robotics in Everyday Life), with the participation of ECDF Principal Investigator Prof. Martin Gersch, is investigating the use of robots in everyday life and is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with a total of 2.25 million euros.
Until May 2025, the team of scientists at Gersch's Chair will work on business models for service and assistance robotics as a subproject. The transfer center will support partners and other institutions in the transfer of new robotics technologies and solutions into everyday life. "Our focus in the subproject is primarily on economic use scenarios for service and assistance robotics and the development of a knowledge platform. In this way, we want to ensure that the results also reach society and provide concrete benefits," explains Gersch, professor of business administration at the Department of Information Systems at Freie Universität Berlin. Gersch sees the potential of robots, among other things, in care - both inside and outside the home - as well as in difficult and dangerous work in public spaces. New areas of application and business models are to be developed through competitions and an open knowledge platform.
In addition to Freie Universität Berlin, the work of the transfer center is supported by the FZI Research Center for Information Technology with the participation of the University of Bonn and TÜV SÜD AG. In total, the BMBF is funding three competence centers with different specific application domains of assistance robots; the RimA competence center is to serve as a link between the individual centers and promote efficient, scientific, but also technical exchange.