The best developers and young researchers from around the world test their mettle in robot competitions. As a project partner and sponsor, KUKA is involved with a number of these competitions. Our objective: to drive innovation, encourage technology transfer – and, of course, discover talent.

KUKA Innovation Award

KUKA launched its own scientific competition in 2014. It is aimed at the wider robotics community and is open to developers, graduates and research teams from companies or universities. The winners receive a monetary prize of 20,000 euro.

For the Innovation Award, participants develop ideas for a task assigned by KUKA. The best teams implement their projects using KUKA hardware and present the results to wide-ranging specialist audiences at major trade fairs such as Hannover Messe. 

Through the research prize, KUKA encourages technology transfer from research to industry and supports innovative developments in the area of robot-based automation. 


Every year, teams from all over the world pit their mobile robots against each other at the RoboCup. In events such as the robot soccer tournament, researchers, scientists and amateur tinkerers put their skills to the test; in the RoboCup@Work league, teams tackle challenges in industrial settings. 

With the KUKA youBot, used specifically in research, teams must complete complex tasks based on concepts for the factory of the future in which robots and human operators collaborate. By the way, the youBot is a mobile, omnidirectional platform on which a robot arm with a gripper is mounted. 

RoboCup@Work focuses primarily on the requirements of small companies, which require more flexible and more customized processes. The solutions developed during the competition are intended to help open new fields of application in the areas of Industrie 4.0 and human-robot collaboration – from parts handling to logistics services.

European Robotics League

In 2016, SPARC launched the European Robotics League at the RoboCup in Leipzig. SPARC is a public-private partnership between the European Commission and industry.

In the European Robotics League, international teams go head-to-head in the areas of industrial, emergency and service robotics. Local matches and large tournaments take place all over Europe. Each team can participate in two competitions per year. The points are totaled at the conclusion of the year of competition and used to rank each team in the league. The best teams are honored at the annual European Robotics Forum.

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