• Duration:

Aim of the Helmholtz Alliance “Robotic Exploration of Extreme Environments” ROBEX is to explore synergies between two up to now unrelated research fields that deal with similarly extreme environments: the deep sea and the Moon. We will create an overarching Alliance for identification and development of joint technologies and expect that the combination of these two complementing technological and scientific expertise will lead to substantial advancements in both research fields.

Main tasks are:

  • Development of specific instrumentation for exploration of extreme, inaccessible environments on Earth (deep sea) and on the Moon with a focus on mobile instrumentation (central docking stations, intelligent instrument control, advancements in power supply and communication systems, development of sensors and robotics).
  • Creation of a modular robotic infrastructure environment, both in hardware (set up of advanced demonstrators for lunar/deep sea application, networking of system components, mobility, manipulability, autonomy etc.) and in software (modular approach in order to cope with re-configurability needs).
  • Field tests for available and newly developed instrumentation in the deep sea and on land (lunar analogies) to test feasibility and operability in the respective environments. The field tests will be applied towards specific research fields in the deep sea (e.g. gas hydrates, hydrothermal vents, slope stability) and lunar science fields (thermo-chemical evolution of Moon, lunar rock types, size of crust and core size of Moon, analysis of volatiles and ice on the lunar surface and at the lunar South Pole).

Within the Alliance the DFKI RIC is responsible for the development of control algortihms for underwater systems.


Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung (AWI), Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel (GEOMAR), Jacobs Universität Bremen, Technische Universität München, Technische Universität Dresden, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Universität Bremen, Technische Universität Berlin, MARUM, DFKI RIC

Publications about the project

Sascha Flögel, Detlef Wilde, Ingo Ahrns, Christof Nuber, Marc Hildebrandt,

In: Proceedings of the Oceans 18 MTS/IEEE Kobe Techno-Ocean2018. OCEANS MTS/IEEE Conference (OCEANS-2018) Ocean Planet - its our home May 28-31 Kobe Japan IEEE 2018.

To the publication
Frank Kirchner

In: BayesOpt2016 - Bayesian Optimization: Black-box Optimization and Beyond. NIPS Workshop on Bayesian Optimization (BayesOpt-2016) located at NeurIPS 2016 December 10 Barcelona Spain n.n. 12/2016.

To the publication

In: IROS 2015. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) September 28-October 2 Hamburg Germany IEEE 9/2015.

To the publication

German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz