Cognitive Engineering and Production

Advance virtual engineering systematically, design ergonomics into technical systems, rethink the concept of mobility

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Digital engineering and user-friendly technology

We design and develop technology for user experience engineering. In this field, products and structures are developed and tested with the help of digital tools that make use of virtual and augmented reality. We also conduct research into the opportunities digital engineering offers to accelerate, improve and increase the profitability of organizational processes in technical areas of manufacturing companies and in the construction industry. Furthermore, we help our customers develop ergonomic work systems and user-friendly products with a strong focus on human-vehicle interaction, consumer products, work tools, digital environments and innovative lighting concepts. Our teams combine a wide range of simulation and real-time visualization experience with application expertise in the field of human factors.

Our key areas of research:

  • Process optimization through digital engineering: from idea to product
  • Application and use of virtual and augmented reality in industry and construction
  • User-friendly product and work system design
  • User interaction and lighting system design
  • Human-vehicle interaction, driver assistance systems and automated driving



Future Work Lab

Where is work headed? On the factory floor, but also with regard to processes and services, digitalization is raising many new questions. Headed by Fraunhofer IAO, the newly opened “Future Work Lab – an innovation laboratory for work, people and technology” offers innovative approaches and answers.



The MyCPS research project aims to develop and carry out initial testing of systematic methods for the practical migration of human-centered digitalized production processes towards becoming cyber-physical systems (CPS).


PreVilog: Healthy intralogistics jobs

The PreVilog project kicks off with development of a novel monitoring system that visualizes non-ergonomic stresses in specific contexts that pose short-term and long-term hazards to an employee’s health. On the basis of the monitoring data collected, project partners can then define approaches, models, and methods that promote phases of stress and relaxation in accordance with proper ergonomics and preventive health care.


Managing requirements virtually with a customer-integrated innovation process

The VitAmIn project aimed to integrate customers into the virtually supported innovation and development process at a very early stage. To do this, researchers developed methods and tools and summarized them in the VitAmIn method.


Rokoko: human-robot collaboration

There is a growing demand for direct human-robot interaction without safety barriers, especially on mixed assembly lines for multiple product variants. The aim of the Rokoko research project is to develop and test methods and tools to support the safe use, cost-effective deployment, and general acceptance of robots in collaborative assembly environments.


VisB+: Visualization in the public participation process

How can modern visualization technologies be used to involve the public when planning large construction projects? Large-scale construction projects invariably generate a certain degree of conflict. They must therefore be planned and communicated so that the public accepts them. Together with the University of Hohenheim, a Fraunhofer IAO project team is investigating the overarching research question: what part can visualizations play in ensuring that construction planning is understandable and credible?