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Artificial intelligence and sustainability: KUKA and Swisslog support "AI for Good" initiative of the United Nations

The "AI for Good" initiative by ITU, the UN's specialized agency for information and communication technologies, has gathered with around 3,500 guests, AI innovators, startups, and renowned speakers for its Global Summit in Geneva. Founded in 2017, the initiative aims to bring forth AI-based solutions that pay into the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

11 juillet 2023

"Sustainability stands for responsible corporate action towards the environment, our employees, customers and our social environment," said Dr. Hui Zhang, Chief Technology Officer at KUKA, during his keynote speech at the AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva. "With our technologies, we are helping to shape the future of work and bear responsibility for ensuring that automated production uses fewer and fewer resources." Energy-efficient robots and systems are an essential lever for lowering  energy consumption in industrial production, he said. 

Dr. Hui Zhang, Chief Technology Office of KUKA during his keynote speech at the AI for Good Global Summit 2023 in Geneva.
The transition towards a more sustainable and resource-saving economy and life can only be accomplished with the aid of new technologies such as automation, robotics and digitization, according to Zhang. KUKA and Swisslog are aware of this responsibility and support the UN's ‘AI for Good’ initiative, which has evolved as a year-round digital platform where startups and AI innovators can network and exchange ideas. AI for Good is organized by the ITU, the UN's specialized agency for information and communication technologies, together with 40 UN partner organizations.

Robotics and AI in healthcare

KUKA technologies are not only used in industry, but also in healthcare. Johannes Schaeferhoff, CEO of the Danish startup ROCPA, was on stage in Geneva together with Hui Zhang to present ARTHUR. ARTHUR is an arthritis ultrasound robot that integrates the KUKA Cobot LBR Med. "With ARTHUR, we are contributing to the goals of 'health and well-being' and 'gender equality,'" Schaeferhoff said during the keynote. "The disease is chronic, with irreparable bone loss beginning eight weeks after the onset of symptoms. One in three patients is unable to work, many miss work due to illness, and women are three times more likely to be affected than men."

The patient can interact directly with the robotic system. This saves the doctor time when consulting the patient, as the ultrasound images for diagnosis are already available. ROPCA is already working in several Danish hospitals and plans to soon also operate in Germany and afterwards in the UK.

ARTHUR, an arthritis ultrasound robot, was also on site at the Global Summit in Geneva.

KUKA also promotes innovations outside its own company 

ROPCA won the international Robotics for Good Innovation Factory startup competition this year. The competition is part of the AI for Good initiative as well. KUKA supported the startup competition and, in addition to the prize money of €20,000, also offered innovation coaching for the winner. "Supporting innovations that have a positive impact on our society is an essential part of our strategy," says Ulrike Tagscherer, Chief Innovation Office at KUKA. "We deliberately get involved in initiatives like 'AI for Good' to think outside our own box and help startups on their way." In this way a valuable network is created from which both sides benefit. Ulrike Tagscherer and her team will coach ROPCA and guide it on its way to the next milestone.


Here you can find all pictures AI for Good Global Summit in Genva: AI for Good Global Summit 2023 | Flickr

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