The work on and with physical objects is, as ever, an important component of many research processes. Yet there are still significant challenges involved in the approach to the objects, the coordination of researchers involved and the documentation of the research process. This is in particular due to a lack of practices and tools for enabling the linkage of physical objects with their digital counterparts.
In view of this situation, the research project aims to develop tools for scientific cooperation at the interface of physical and digital worlds. These tools must be able to be integrated in a work environment that seamlessly connects the interaction with physical and digital objects and allows everyone participating in this work process direct access to the research object and as well as the greatest possible degree of autonomy.
The connecting link between physical and virtual spaces is provided by annotations, which are understood as a form of object-centred organisation of knowledge. They engage the knowledge processes of the actors (persons and tele-agents) participating in the research process and thereby produce a common object-centred platform of understanding.
Software agents are an active part of this research process in that they enable other, less obvious interrelationships of knowledge to become visible.