The "Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics - CoR-Lab"
What are the basic building blocks of cognition and learning? How can we endow robots with some social competence, to make them acceptable as assistants to humans? How can machines communicate smoothly and on semantic levels with humans? Such important yet unsolved persistent research questions have been guiding Bielefeld researchers in the key area of Interactive Intelligent Systems for many years.
In order to face the enormous challenges that these question imply for robotics, the „Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics (CoR-Lab)“ was founded at the Bielefeld University in July 2007 under main participation of the research groups Neuroinformatics (Prof. Dr. H. Ritter, Prof. Dr. J. J. Steil) and Applied Computer Science (Prof. Dr. G. Sagerer), with support by the ministry of Innovation, Science, Research and Technology of North Rhine-Westphalia and in a strategic partnership with the industrial partner Honda Research Institute Europe GmbH (HRI-EU). In this ongoing partnership, HRI-EU contributed two ASIMO robots for research projects in a joint graduate school from 2007-2012. The special relationship between Honda and CoR-Lab has been renewed in 2012 for further four years and continues with new research projects in robotics, machine learning and driver assistance.
The participating research groups in CoR-Lab are widely known for their work in artificial cognition, computer vision, neural networks and machine learning, and human-robot interaction. They are in command of a unique wealth of robot platforms including two humanoid iCub robots, several Nao robots, anthropomorphic robot hand, Kuka LWR compliant arms, a bionic handling assistant, and further service robots.
The acquisition of competencies in these wide fields of intelligent systems technology since its inauguration in 2007, and its growing focus on applied research enables CoR-Lab to serve more and more as a center for the transfer of advanced intelligence technology from fundamental research towards industrial application in the region Ostwestfalen-Lippe. Through joint projects with regional industry partners it supports the domestic medium-sized economy by organizing transfer of excellent research, e.g. in a transfer chain reaching from the Bielefeld Center of Excellence in Cognitive Interaction Technology CITEC through CoR-Lab to application partners. With this aim, CoR-Lab also takes the lead for Bielefeld University’s contribution to the BMBF Spitzencluster it’s-owl (Intelligent Technical Systems).