KUKA Innovation Award 2014: retrospective report

The first KUKA Innovation Award was presented in 2014 to the “Robotics & Perception” research group from the University of Zurich.

KUKA Innovation Award 2014: Open to invent the future

The four finalists for the Innovation Award 2014 exhibited their projects at AUTOMATICA.

The winning project in 2014

The KUKA Innovation Award 2014 was the first of its kind. The “Robotics & Perception” research group from the University of Zurich won out over the more than 30 finalists. With their application “Cooperative air-ground robotics: Removing obstacles in the way – search and rescue missions”, the Swiss team convinced the specialist jury at AUTOMATICA – the international flagship trade fair for robotics and automation.

The KUKA youBot meets the quadcopter: collaborative robots for disaster areas

In the application presented for the KUKA Innovation Award 2014, a quadcopter in the air works directly with a KUKA youBot on the ground. The quadcopter, equipped with a camera, autonomously flies around a defined area, collects data on the landscape and existing obstacles and generates a map. The quadcopter then sends this information to the youBot. This process enables the youBot to navigate better, avoiding obstacles and reaching the target more quickly.

The team has thus figured out a new use for collaborative robots: the application is intended to help in disaster areas during search and rescue efforts – for example, when entering an area is too dangerous for people or when transporting first-aid kits.

KUKA Innovation Award 2014: the winning team

The “Robotics and Perception” research group is a department of the University of Zurich. Led by Prof. Dr. Davide Scaramuzza, several PhD students brought the “Cooperative air-ground robotics: Removing obstacles in the way – search and rescue missions” project to life.

The winning team accepted the first KUKA Innovation Award and the 20,000 euro prize money at the AUTOMATICA trade fair. 

The “Robotics & Perception” research group during the presentation of the KUKA Innovation Award at AUTOMATICA.

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