Funding project for collaborative robot

June 24th, 2020 | by

  • The Rheinisch Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) Aachen, together with the Cologne-based car manufacturer Ford and the Landschaftsverband Rheinland (LVR), is conducting research on a workplace with a new version of a collaborative robot.
  • LVR supports the model project with 372,000 euros from compensatory levy funds
  • The new workstation meets the requirement for severely disabled employees

Aachen, June 24th, 2020 – Together with the Cologne-based car manufacturer Ford and the Landschaftsverband Rheinland (LVR), the Rheinisch Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH) is working on a new application for a collaborative robot. The LVR is funding this model project entitled “Human-Robot Collaboration – Redesigning a Workplace in the Automotive Industry for Severely Disabled Employees” with 372,000 euros through its Inclusion Office from the funds of the compensatory levy. The aim is to integrate the robot into production so that a severely disabled person shares a workplace with the robot. The unique project feature is the robot, which is configured to work interactively “hand in hand” with the person and is not separated by a protective device.

The project officially started on June 1st, 2020. The task of the automotive manufacturer is to design the workplace and define the configuration so that it complies with the requirements of cycle-based manufacturing, occupational safety requirements, and barrier-free workplace design.

The project duration is 19 months (June 1st, 2020 to December 31st, 2021). The aim is to use this example implementation to gain insights into the employment of human-machine collaborations to safeguard the employment of severely disabled people and to advise small and medium-sized companies in this regard.

The Institute of Transmission Technology, Machine Dynamics and Robotics (IGMR) at RWTH Aachen University is involved in the project and, with its expertise in robotics and collaboration, ensures scientific support and further transfers.

The other partners of the RWTH:

Landschaftsverband Rheinland (LVR)

The LVR Inclusion Office is responsible for the participation of severely disabled people in the general labor market in the Rhineland. It offers various support services for employers and severely disabled people and works with different partners. The offers include, for example, financial support for the establishment of jobs and training positions, for the disability-friendly furnishing of workplaces, or in the case of extraordinary burdens during employment. For the LVR Inclusion Office, the expected and to-be-published knowledge gained from the new model project promises significant benefits for expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities and using new technical developments to promote inclusion.

Ford-Werke GmbH

Ford-Werke GmbH is a German automotive manufacturer and mobility provider headquartered in Cologne. The company employs more than 22,000 people at its sites in Cologne, Saarlouis, and Aachen. Since its founding in 1925, Ford-Werke has produced more than 47 million vehicles.



Prof. Dr.-Ing. Mathias Hüsing
stv. Institutsdirektor

Tel.: 0241 – 80 95554
E-Mail: huesing(at)

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