As core elements of Cyber Valley, initially five Max Planck Research Groups, funded by the core partners, will be established at the Max Planck Institute. Five further Groups will follow at a later point in time. Furthermore, in the first phase, four additional Groups, financed by endowment funds, will be set up at the universities.
The independent Research Groups that are being created in Cyber Valley focus on the research fields of machine learning, computer vision and robotics. As, in keeping with the principles of the Max Planck Society, the Leaders of these Groups are chosen for their scientific excellence and bring with them their own research topics, the specific research direction of the groups has not yet been established.
However, Junior Research Group Leaders are not only sought in the area of machine learning and autonomous robotics but also in other fields of artificial intelligence. Another topic could be based on the way in which robots interact safely with people and still manage to perform a task reliably.
In addition, robotic perception is set to become a research topic in Cyber Valley: computer vision is the keyword here. The human sense of sight is still superior to computers, for example when it involves identifying objects in poor lighting conditions. This is not the only area in which computers will need to improve if they are to drive us autonomously some day, they will also need to learn to maintain a perspective in complex traffic situations. Such robots, which could one day help us as flexible household helps or even care assistants, must be able to analyze reliably the pixel data in their camera eyes.
In addition to mobility, household and care, medicine could also be an important area of application for robots. There will be demand in particular for microbots and nanorobots, which transport pharmaceutical substances specifically to the seat of disease in the human body, take samples there or even perform operations. However, research and development must make some progress before this can be achieved. Researchers in Cyber Valley will therefore also focus on robotics for medical applications.
The newly created Cyber Valley groups are accommodated at the two Max Planck Institute locations and at the universities before moving into their own new research premises on a permanent basis.
The universities of Stuttgart and Tübingen receive financial support for their research groups from the Christian Bürkert Foundation, the Vector Foundation, the Gips-Schüle Foundation and the Carl Zeiss Foundation.