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Highlights of the ISR Europe 2018

The ISR Europe once again took place as a part of automatica, the leading exhibition for smart automation and robotics. With roughly 900 exhibitors and more than 45,000 visitors from all over the world, automatic 2018 established itself as the leading marketplace for automated production. The nearness between science and business is a sustainable method for closely interlinking and thereby developing of new products.

Outstanding Keynotes

Ocean One - a humanoid diver
Stanford University - Artificial Intelligence Lab

On of the success stories of the ISR is the presentation and communication with outstanding keynotes.

Prof. Oussama Khatib, Standford University, USA who heads SAIL’s robotics lab presented one of the most exciting examples of its work Ocean One — a humanoid diver.

Ocean One is actually more like a mermaid with two arms, but no legs. Several propellers around its torso give Ocean One a range of motion. The robot was designed to assist archaeologists who want to explore shipwrecks hundreds of feet beneath the surface. Human divers can’t go that deep and are limited to shorter times. Submersible vessels can’t maneuver the way divers can. The robot provides a solution.

This Robotics goes beyond the goal of traditional AI—replicating human intelligence—by attempting to build machines that physically act like humans. It extends well beyond computer science, into the fields of mechanical engineering, bioengineering and even psychology of learning.

Robotics developed on factory floors with programmable arms in safety cages doing tightly constrained activities. But around the beginning of the 21st century, sensors and actuators improved to the point that scientists could start to develop robots that perform tasks in a human environment.

Stanford’s Robotics Center at SAIL specializes in developing robots that can work in conjunction with humans. Robots can be dangerous. For safety, they must be able to sense humans near them both visually and by touch to avoid hurting them inadvertently. They need to be able to sense their tasks so they can pick up iron bars or porcelain vases with the same grippers.

Roboticists have long instructed robots how to move by creating computer programs that describe the movement of each joint. But that isn’t how people move. Humans don’t move precisely. They move to make contact and then modify their position. Stanford’s robotics researchers have worked with biomechanics researchers to model the human musculoskeletal system in order to make robots move the way humans do. Rather than program the motion of every limb, robotics researchers today try to mimic biological systems. Sensors on robots respond to stimuli. They provide the information that controls or modifies the next movement. With those capabilities provided to robots, researchers can use different techniques for instructing robots to move. Based on computer models of human motion that they had developed through careful analysis, “we could understand the human strategy behind the motions,” is one of Khatib key messages. It is a task to encode the strategies into the robot. As a result we are able to encode complex motions into a robot without writing extremely complex code.

Best Paper Award

Winner Best Paper
Christian Just (Winner Best Paper) and Alexander Verl (Chair of ISR 2018)

The best 10 full papers will undergo an additional evaluation based on quality, degree of innovation and presentation of the scientific-technical work. The nominees are assessed by the jurors during the running sessions of the ISR 2018 conference and the winners determined.


The winner of this years Best Paper Award are:

“Augmented Reality Robot Operation Interface with Google Tango”
Michael Gradmann, Eric Orendt, Edgar Schmidt and Stephan Schweizer (Universität Bayreuth, Germany); Dominik Henrich (University of Bayreuth, Germany)

“Development and evaluation of a fingertip operated joystick”
Satoru Suzuki and Nobuto Matsuhira (Shibaura Institute of Technology, Japan) ; Tsutomu Shimada and Shintaro Shimada (Technotools, Japan )

“A user study on robot path planning inside a Virtual Reality environment”
Christian Just, Tobias Ortmaier and Lüder A. Kahrs (Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany)

Conference Dinner at Hofbräuhaus München

Hofbräuhaus Bild

This years conference dinner took place at the Original Hofbräuhaus München where the Engelberger and IERA Award was granted.

IERA Award

IERA Award

IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE/RAS) and the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) honoured as main part of the ISR three Companies for their Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation with the IERA Award:

  • Perception Robotics with their Industrial Self-Cleaning Gecko Gripper - a unique gripping solution
  • KUKA Deutschland GmbH with their LBR Med - an innovation for medical robotics, medical research, and new applications
  • Lely International with their Discovery 120 Collector - a unique manure robot designed for cleaning solid barn floors

Engelberger Award

Engelberger Award-Bild

The World's Most Prestigious Robotics Honor is named after Joseph F. Engelberger, known throughout the world as the founding force behind industrial robotics. The awards are presented to individuals for excellence in technology development, application, education, and leadership in the robotics industry. The Leadership Award is given each year, while the other categories are rotated by year.

Award Winners:

Since 2008 Gudrun Litzenberger is General Secretary of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). The IFR connects the world of robotics around the globe and now represents over fifty members from more than twenty countries. This Year she is the winner of the Engelberger Robotics Award for Leadership.

Esben H. Østergaard is Chief Technology Officer and Cofounder at Universal Robots, one of the inventors behind the UR cobots, and is responsible for the enhancement of existing UR cobots and the development of new products. During his years as researcher and assistant professor in robotics and user interfaces at University of Southern Denmark, he created the foundation for a reinvention of the industrial robot. Esben H. Østergaard is the winner of the Engelberger Robotics Award for Technology.