Self-determined mobility for handicapped persons

Personal mobility and being able to move around independently of others is hardly possible for many people with physical disabilities. The project “adamo” of the BIBA - Bremen Institute for Production and Logistics at the University of Bremen is now working on solutions to this problem.

The one-year “adamo” project (Holistic Adaptive Interaction System for Intermodal Mobility) is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in the priority area “Human-Technology-Interaction”, which is part of the program "Bringing technology to people". Associated partner in the project is the charitable mission Bahnhofsmission Bremen. The first research results should be available by the end of the year.

Not utopia, but already in test mode on the road today – and tomorrow a reality

Although most people might think it is still utopian, the future has long since begun. At Frankfurt Airport, for example, autonomous shuttle buses for passenger transport are already in trial operation. Moreover, since 2017, the first autonomous scheduled mini-bus service is in operation on the Euref campus in Berlin, the site on the Schöneberger gasometer with more than 100 companies and more than 2,500 employees.

Autonomous self-driving supply vehicles have already been operating in factories and in the warehouses of logistics companies for a long time. Among other things, the BIBA can draw on its research in these areas for the adamo project. “What is already successfully used in production and logistics can also help physically impaired people to improve their quality of life and support their mobility,” says Aaron Heuermann, head of the adamo project. “This will very soon be technically feasible,” he is convinced.

Small smart vehicles to provide individual assistance when changing trains

“The project is developing a mobility concept for the intermodal mobility of seniors and other people with physical impairments,” explains Heuermann. When we choose and link together different modes of transport during a journey and change to other means of transport one after the other, we are travelling “intermodally”. The main subject of the project are autonomous micro-vehicles that function as intelligent helpers when transferring between different means of transport – with aids for entry and exit or walking aids to facilitate passenger and luggage transport.

Intelligently controlled autonomous aids in conflictive traffic areas on the road

“The small, smart vehicles are designed to move in so-called 'conflicting traffic areas' in part and in full autonomy, intelligently interconnecting different means of transport and supporting transitions between them, rather than just standing by separately next to them,” explains Heuermann. This requires system communication and interaction with and between all other links in the chain of involved vehicles and infrastructure such as stops and elevators. In addition, an intelligent self-learning vehicle control as well as user interfaces are to be designed which adapt to the individual needs of the users.

The challenge of human-technology interaction

One of the challenges lies in the human-technology interaction. “It has a high priority in this project and is crucial for the acceptance of robotic vehicles,” says Heuermann. “We design age-appropriate, easy-to-handle user interfaces. The operation should be as simple as possible and intuitive – and according to the possibilities of the users, offer optional control by gesture, voice or via a touch screen like a smart phone.”

Call for participation in the BIBA online survey “Mobility Behavior in Transition”

The research should be supported by a data collection. In this connection, the BIBA is calling for people to participate in a survey on mobility behavior under
Sabine Nollmann

Attention Editors: You can obtain image material on this topic under or by contacting Sabine Nollmann (email:, cell: 0170 904 11 67)

If you would like to have more information on this topic, feel free to contact:

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus-Dieter Thoben (Institute Leader)
BIBA – Bremer Institute for Production and Logistics
Phone: 0421/218-50006



Sticker on a BUS
The goal of the BIBA adamo project is to give people with physical disabilities more independence to move around.