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What Knocked Our Socks Off on Day 3 @ Automatica 2022


We had an amazing third day at Automatica 2022. Can’t believe there’s only one more day to go!

We saw some of the most audacious robot demos we’ve seen so far, found a door specially made for sweets, and heard some fascinating discussions on the future of robotics and the industry.

We also discovered that our robots are simple enough, a child can use them!

Here are some of the highlights from today…

Big questions No 1: “What robotics…”

It was a day of big questions here at Automatica 2022.

One question that came to our attention was this puzzling riddle: “What robotics?”

What do you mean “What robotics”?

But you had to walk around the corner to find out the answer. 

Aha!

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“What robotics can be!” 

Well, yes, that does make more sense. 

A door for sweets?

We also passed this unusual demo of an automatic door for conveyor belts. 

Every time the bowl of sweets moved toward the door, the door opened. Clearly, it was an important bowl of sweets!

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Big questions No 2:

Automatica Forum celebrates International Women in Engineering Day

It’s June 23rd today and that means it’s International Women in Engineering Day. The Automatica Forum celebrated by posing some big questions to an expert panel.

The discussion was chaired by Sheila Beladinejad, President of Women in AI & Robotics.

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The participants were:

  • Adna Bliek – Doctoral Researcher from FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • Wilfried Eberhardt – Chief Marketing Officer at KUKA.
  • Lioba Suchenwirth – Press and Public Relations at DLR and Vice President of Women in AI & Robotics.
  • Dr Daniel Leidner – Robotics and AI Scientist at the Institute of Robotics & Mechatronics at DLR.
  • Dr Katharina Hertkorn – Robotics Engineer at Neatleaf, a robotic platform for indoor plant cultivation.

The lively and enlightening discussion covered a range of topics around gender diversity for women in the AI and Robotics industry.

A few of the many takeaways from the discussion were:

  • Lioba Suchenwirth: The focus of diversity should be a focus on the strengths that these differing perspectives bring, not concentrating on differences.
  • Daniel Leidner: Diversity is creativity. We all need to realize that creativity comes from having range of differing opinions and perspectives.
  • Katharina Hertkorn: Making workplaces more diverse can seem exhausting to some people because they don’t recognize that listening to differing opinions takes extra time. For companies looking to make fast decisions, this means allowing for more time to make decisions so everyone can be heard.
  • Wilfried Eberhardt: There is also a question of cultural diversity. For example, when KUKA moved into the Chinese market they came with their German cultural background and needed to learn how to understand the new cultural perspectives.
  • Lioba Suchenwirth: The industry, which is still largely male, sees women in engineering and their work through a different filter than it sees males. So change is not only about putting women in positions of authority in companies, it’s also about recognizing that filter and asking “is this filter helpful?”

Sheila Beladinejad finished the discussion by saying “Let us open doors and keep them open so that others may pass through them.”

It was a powerful discussion to mark today’s International Women in Engineering Day. Just the sort of valuable conversation that makes Automatica a great place to share our perspectives and continue to develop the robotics industry for the better.

The most audacious robot demos from the “new kid on the block”

Earlier today, we reported on our visit to the booth of new cognitive robotics startup Neura. We didn’t have time to show you all the bold exhibits on their booth, but there were a few more things that were kind of cool.

For example, they had a mobile coffee station that drove past you as you walked around the booth. There was also this chess playing robot (one of the few that didn’t have a Robotiq gripper as far as we could see, but then we are biased!)

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There was this basketball playing robot, with a very enthusiastic human opponent. 

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And then there was a noughts and crosses game (which you can see in the video at the top of this post). When it was your turn to play, the robot said loudly “It’s your turn”… a bit like an impatient child waiting to play…

Our Robotiq booth demo is simple enough a child can use it

Speaking of children, the star of our booth today had to be this little roboticist who came along to play with our 3 Finger Gripper demo.

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Of course, it’s a cliche to say that something is “simple enough a child can use it.” Children are usually better at using technologies than most adults!

Time to enjoy the sun!

It’s been a hot day here in Munich. But most of us have been stuck inside for the whole day.

So now we’re going to relax and enjoy the sun in a local beer garden.

See you tomorrow for the final day!

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