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Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) is the central, self-governing research funding organisation that promotes research at universities and other publicly financed research institutions in Germany.




Prof. Dr. H. Wörn


Future and Emerging Technologies Unit of EC, FP7

start date:

1. Februar 2008

end date:

31. Januar 2013

The SYMBRION-project is a large-scale integration project together with partners from science and industry all over Europe. The funding takes place by the European Union within the 7th Framework Programme „Future and Emergent Technologies, Proactive“. Together with the REPLICATOR-project it depicts one of the largest undertakings in the field of modular robotics all over the world. The name SYMBRION thereby denotes „Symbiotic Evolutionary Robot Organisms“. The aim of the project is to research and to develop new principles of adaption and evolution for organisms that may consist of a huge amount of single robots. Therefore large-scale swarms of robots are to be enabled to aggregate to a complex organism. Inside of such an artificial life-form it is desired for energy and computing resources to be distributed among the single entities, just like in a symbiosis, as each single robot only provides very limited amounts of resources and capabilities. By aggregating to a bigger organism, complex challenges that cannot be coped with by single robots or even swarms of those, may be solvable then.

To achieve such an ambitious goal it is necessary to bring several prerequisites into being first. At this the development of the appropriate hardware-platform is as important as the implementation of proper software, which is why the integration of the several work packages is considered very important here. Thereby every part of the project is adjusted to the so called Self-X-Properties „self-configuring“, „self-healing“, „self-protecting“ and „self-organizing“. This way in turn the appearance of emergent behavioural patterns and phenomena is expected. By leading three of the work packages inside the project, the IPR staffs major key skills within the field of hard- and software.