RimA - Roboter im Alltag

BMBF Funds Transfer Center “Robots in Everyday Life (RimA)

FU Berlin contribution focuses on usage options, business models and IT entrepreneurship

No. 151/2021 of 08/06/2021


The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding a project on the use of robots in everyday life in which Freie Universität Berlin is participating. The transfer center RimA; the abbreviation stands for robots in everyday life, is being supported with 2.25 million euros; the researchers at Freie Universität, led by Prof. Dr. Martin Gersch from the Department of Economic Science and the Digital Entrepreneurship Hub of Freie Universität Berlin based there, are working on business models for assistance robotics as a subproject until May 2025. The BMBF is funding three competence centers with different specific application domains of assistance robots The additionally established transfer center RimA is to be a link between these three competence centers and promote efficient, scientific, but also technical exchange.

Smart robots such as vacuuming or mopping robots are increasingly finding their way into our everyday lives and will also increasingly take over tasks in public spaces in the future, because with the increasing digitalization of society and the economy, the use of robotics is also expanding to non-industrial applications. “In the future, more and more service and assistance robots will support people not only in their own homes, especially in health care and nursing, but also in public spaces or in difficult and dangerous work,” emphasizes Professor Martin Gersch. A central challenge here is the interaction between humans and these robots in everyday life.

The work of the transfer center is managed by the FZI Research Center for Information Technology with the participation of the University of Bonn, TÜV SÜD AG and Freie Universität Berlin. The overall goal of the transfer center is to support the partners of the centers as well as other institutions in the transfer of new robotics technologies and solutions into everyday life. “The sub-project ‘Business Models for Assistive Robotics’ at Freie Universität Berlin focuses primarily on economic use scenarios for assistive robotics, but also makes important contributions to the development and establishment of a knowledge platform that supports the projects in the competence centers from the outset in actively shaping translation with and the transfer of results to society,” explains Martin Gersch.

“Via national assistance robotics competitions and an open knowledge platform, an intensive reflection of innovative business models in future usage scenarios will be forced,” adds the economist. “RimA will sustainably shape the development of business models and usage scenarios for assistance robotics through, among other things, benchmarks, competitions as well as the knowledge platform beyond the competence centers and continuously integrate new companies and research partners in the process.”

The “Digital Transformation” working group led by Martin Gersch at the Department of Economic Science and the Digital Entrepreneurship Hub of Freie UniversitätBerlin and at the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF) as part of the Berlin University Alliance has many years of experience in researching relevant challenges of technology-driven change processes as well as innovative business models in emerging usage scenarios with a focus on digital design options. In this context, methods of IT entrepreneurship, among others, as well as previous findings of research on digital transformation are reflected and further developed. Research-based innovation projects in digital contexts are sensitized and qualified to think along with the translation and transfer options into society and to systematically develop exploitation options in possible application scenarios. Typical challenges and areas of tension in the course of the digital transformation can thus be identified at an early stage and better managed.

Further information and interview requests

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martin Gersch

Free University of Berlin
Department of Business Administration

Department of Information Systems
Chair of Business Administration, Information and Organization
Einstein Center Digital Future and
Digital Entrepreneurship Hub
Phone +49 (0)30 838 53300 (secretary: 53690)
E-mail: martin.gersch@fu-berlin.de
Web: http://www.wiwiss.fu-berlin.en/gersch or http://digital-future.berlin or https://de-hub.org or https://www.berlin-university-alliance.de

Further links

RimA project page on the Digital Entrepreneurship Hub (DEH)

This post is also available in: German