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KUKA at ERF 2020

From 3 to 5 March, more than 1000 experts met in Málaga, Spain, at the European Robotics Forum, ERF. KUKA was presenting a research project for search and rescue missions.

Future Robotics: Unlocking Human Potential

The eleventh European Robotics Forum took place in the Palacio de Ferias de Málaga under the topic "Future Robotics: Unlocking Human Potential". The program contained around 50 workshops and presentationsHere, leading experts from industry, business and research as well as European decision-makers exchanged views on topics such as:

  • Robotics and AI,
  • Robotics and education,
  • Human-robot collaboration,
  • Robots in space,
  • Cybersecurity etc.
Palacio de Ferias de Málaga

At the accompanying exhibition, companies, universities and institutes had the opportunity to provide an insight into current research and projects and to exchange information within the robotics network.

Prestigious awards were also presented at the EFR, including the euRobotics Entrepreneurship Award for the most promising robotics start-up, the euRobotics Technology Transfer Award for the best outcome of a collaborative project between research and industry, and the euRobotics George Giralt PhD Award for the best European dissertation. Independent panels of experts with representatives from research and industry selected the finalists from a large number of applications.

Search & Rescue with the LBR iiwa

Together with the Universidad de Málaga, KUKA was presenting an application that addresses the rescue and recovery of persons. In most cases, buried victims can only be located remotely. Without the possibility of contact, however, signs of life are hard to detect. The university’s research project deals with possible approaches to solving this problem.


In the application, a KUKA LBR iiwa lightweight robot grasps the wrist of a buried victim – simulated by a human dummy. Using a specially trained neural network, the application recognizes the wrist even in a chaotic environment. Through the combination of a compliant robot arm and intelligent image processing, the robot gripper can either directly measure vital functions, such as pulse or blood pressure, or place a special wristband on the wrist in order to get in contact with the buried victim in preparation for rescue.

About ERF

The ERF is organised by euRobotics, an international non-profit association based in Brussels, for all members in European robotics. The aim is to make robotics useful for the European economy and society. KUKA plays a leading role here.
The ERF has its origins in a purely academic event in 2010. 
It has evolved into one of the most influential European platforms with representatives from research, industry and politics.

Learn more about the European Robotics Forum.