The pandemic emerged over Europe the moment the Young Investigator Group was formed. Some of the students were only able to visit DLR during their interview, yet had never worked on-site before the shutdown.

However, utilizing digital progress management, physics simulations, and teleoperation capabilities of our robots, we were able to kick-start the project nevertheless as we utilize these three technologies:

  1. The Young Investigator Group is intended to be highly diverse given the nature of the problem of failure recovery. Accordingly, we are working on several topics simultaneously. In order to not lose focus during these difficult times, we are using the DLR internal GitLab installation to monitor our progress by means of agile development methods. Weekly meetings, regular tagups, and most important the issue board help us to maintain the overview. This does not only allow us to work efficient despite distance regulations, but also keeps everybody on to the same knowledge level at all times.
  2. The main idea of FUTURO is to use physics simulations to validate robot actions as the simulation mirrors events of the real world. This becomes especially handy in times where we are unable to use the real systems as we all have to work from home. Accordingly, major efforts were put into the simulation infrastructure in the past months, such that we are now able to simulate all of our experiments.
  3. At last, we were able to access our robotic systems from remote thanks to the expertise in teleoperation at the Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics. In fact, we were able to control Rollin’ Justin right out of Adrians home office earlier this month to shoot a nice easter video! Check out the video here!

All in all, the way we work with now may very well be a good example for how we may want to work in the future as we slowly converge from social distancing to a new normal.

Image Credit: DLR