Human-Technology Interaction at the IFF

Focus here is the optimization of the direct human-technology interaction in order to prevent damage and harm. We focus on preventive ergonomy and operational safety, especially in the environments of industrie 4.0 but also in medical diagnostics and therapy.  

Research issues of the department are the biomechanical interrelation of the
direct interaction of humans

  • with exoskeletons in the production environment, 
  • exo and endoskeletal structures in    
  • preventive ergonomics and
  • medical diagnostics and therapy.

For this, we work on the foundations of

  • movement, environmental and obstacle detection around the human being,
  • intrinsic human motion kinetics and kinetics and
  • consequences for the improved and novel mechatronic human-technology interaction.


Stuttgart Exo-Jacket in AnyBody Modeling System™ (c)
Stuttgart Exo-Jacket in AnyBody Modeling System™

A simulation workflow based on real motion data is built up within the framework of body-worn exoskeleton for partial relief during factory assembly activities. In a musculoskeletal simulation the effects of the exoskeletal solution on the human movement apparatus are examined. This means that validation with regard to kinematics, actuator and control strategy for the exoskeleton can be carried out before the setup and commissioning of the hardware solution.

The scientific work is financed by the
Landesgraduiertenkolleg PROMISE 4.0.

Mark Tröster
Phone +49 711 970-1789

The use of heavy machinery, huge heating instruments and automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) is considered essential in almost all industries nowadays. Unfortunately, these types of tools and machinery was a main cause of many fatal injuries and even mortality in some cases. Accordingly, radar as an environment and light independent sensor can be used for safety monitoring in indoor and outdoor industrial areas. Nowadays, the current demanding topic which is attracting research in radar technology is Micro-Doppler signatures. The Micro-Doppler signatures are defined as the frequency modulation because of micro-motions in the radar range. By means of such technology many applications in the safety domain can be implemented as detecting humans from limbs motion and vital signs based on Micro-Doppler radar signatures. Sensor fusion can also be considered to insure reliable human detection for all possible use cases.

The main research areas will involve the following:

  • Human detection around dangerous equipment or in robot paths by means of radars and safety sensors fusion.
  • Radar technology in 3D image construction and dimensioning of objects
  • Testing Micro-Doppler effects and signature of humans and machinery

The scientific work is financed by the Landesgraduiertenkolleg PROMISE 4.0.

In cooperation with Prof. Bin Yang

Sherif Abdulatif
Phone.: +49 711 970-1775

In times of Industrie 4.0 there is an ongoing trend towards miniaturized and integrated sensors for real-time data acquisition. Fiber-optic sensors (FOS) enable the measurement of compression and strain along the fiber. They use fiber-bragg gratings, which are written into the fiber. The combination of several sensors makes it possible to detect three-dimensional deformations in a fiber, which itself is only 125 μm in diameter. Several bending sensors can be implemented in one fiber, which enables the spatially distributed detection of movements. Due to advances in the miniaturization of the optical evaluation units, cost-effective overall systems can be produced.

The motion tracking on humans is an important instrument in various areas:

  • Medicine: Monitoring of disease / recovery processes in neurodegenerative diseases   
  • Industry: Analysis of manual work processes for process optimization   
  • Sports: Optimization of movement sequences to increase performance

FOS has a number of advantages:

  • Suitability for long-term measurements since no signaling   
  • Integration into clothing possible   
  • No influencing of movement sequences by interfering sensor packages

The scientific work is funded by the Graduate School GSaME (Graduate School of Excellence Advanced Manufacturing Engineering) within the framework of the Excellence Initiative. The doctoral supervision is provided by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Alexander Verl, Institute Director of the ISW of the University of Stuttgart.

Christopher Riehs
Phone: +49 711 970-1347
E-Mail (IFF)
E-Mail (Fraunhofer IPA)

We are developing a non-invasive, neural-controlled hand-exoskeletal system suitable for everyday use that largely compensates for the loss of autonomy and performance due to paralysis of the hand typically occurring after stroke and high cross-sectional injuries. This will be enabled by integrating state-of-the-art EEG-based BMI technology with artificial, context-sensitive, cognitive systems and intelligent bio-robotics.

The project is funded by the Baden-Württemberg-Foundation in the period from 1 March 2017 to 28 February 2020. The project partners are the Eberhard-Karls University of Tübingen, the University of Stuttgart together with Fraunhofer IPA and the Reutlingen University of Applied Sciences.

In Dec 2018 a patent was issued which is being marketed by the Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen. The press release of TLB was met with very good  resonance.

Here, the links to some reports and interviews

Die Ärztezeitung


mobile zeitgeist

Focus Gesundheit

Bild der Wissenschaft

M.Sc. Jonathan Eckstein
Phone: +49 711 970-3644
E-Mail (IFF)
E-Mail (Fraunhofer IPA)

Department Manager

Dieses Bild zeigt Schneider
Dr. med.

Urs Schneider

Head of Department Human-Machine Interaction

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