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Italian research team wins KUKA Innovation Award 2023

Simple automation with robotics and artificial intelligence: With this innovative concept, the JARVIS research team has won the €20,000 KUKA Innovation Award 2023. An international jury selected the winners at the auto-matica trade fair in Munich.

30 June 2023

Get started right away, even without expert knowledge: The KUKA Innovation Award 2023 was all about simple operation and maximum flexibility of robots. For the first time, the robotics competition was based on the new KUKA robot operating system and associated ecosystem iiQKA.

iiQKA offers open interfaces, intuitive operation and makes it much easier to implement hardware and software extensions on a KUKA robot. This makes automation more accessible and new tasks can be automated, especially in small and medium-sized companies

"More and more people in new fields and more and more industries are coming into contact with robotics and automation. Innovative software solutions, new cobots and creative concepts are making automation more available," said Dr. Kristina Wagner, Senior Vice President of the KUKA Automation Software Factory. "With the tenth round of the KUKA Innovation Award, we addressed this development. For the first time, our finalists implemented their ideas with iiQKA and our Cobot LBR iisy. We were impressed by the concepts around simple operation and maximum flexibility, especially for small and medium-sized companies."


Plug and play

In the end, the research team from the Merlin Laboratory of the Italian Politecnico di Milano convinced the international jury. JARVIS dealt with the development of a complete plug-and-play method for programming collaborative robotics applications, for example for assembly and packaging, which is fully integrated into the iiQKA ecosystem. This was demonstrated with a kitting application using an rc_visard 3D stereo sensor from Roboception for object recognition.

Team Jarvis: Winner of the KUKA Innovation Award 2023. © KUKA Group 

Together with the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into the new iiQKA ecosystem, the concept enables unskilled operators to instruct the robot for a new task and generalize to unknown situations, including new tasks and product variants. Thus, thanks to AI, the robot can adapt to changes in the workspace without production downtime. JARVIS is aimed primarily at small and medium-sized companies in the manufacturing sector that want to deploy collaborative robots easily and quickly and use them effectively for placement and assembly.


About the KUKA Innovation Award 2023

As part of the "Open Platform Challenge", the theme of this year's KUKA Innovation Awards, young robotics talent from around the world submitted their innovative concepts around easier setup, programming, and engineering. An international jury selected the three final teams. They presented their concepts to an international audience of experts directly at the KUKA booth at the automatica trade fair in Munich.

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