IFR announces winners of IERA Award 2018 for robotics and automation

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  IFR announces winners of IERA Award 2018 for Robotics and Automation

6. July 2018 – The 14th International IERA Award for Robotics and Automation was sent to the top of the podium with three winners this year:

  • Perception Robotics (USA) wins the " Industrial Self-Cleaning Gecko Gripper a Gecko-style gripping solution that uses NASA technology for industrial automation.
  • KUKA Germany wins with "[ LBR Med ", a collaborative robot assistant for medicine & research as well as new applications.
  • Lely International (Netherlands) wins with the " Discovery 120 Collector ", a floor cleaning robot that cleans solid soils in the dairy industry

"The close collaboration between research and industry is for the Robot industry very important, "says Junji Tsuda, president of the International Federation of Robotics. "Based on modern scientific research, world-class products are developed – as all three winners show."

"This year several excellent applications competed for the IERA Award," says Dominik Bösl from IEEE-RAS. "Our winners in 2018 offer outstanding technological innovation in a variety of industries, so the jury decided this year to place first in three winners."

Perception Robotics (USA): Gecko Gripper

The gecko's underlying technology is based on the gecko's model, which can climb on smooth surfaces. The reptile uses physical attractions between foot and surface (van der Waals forces). Based on the work of NASA (JPL) and Stanford University, Perception Robotics has developed a gripping solution for the manufacturing industry that uses this natural model in collaboration with NASA-JPL. In contact with smooth and rough materials, millions of tiny stems on the robot arm create an adhesive effect that can be used, for example, to move sheet metal or glass pieces. The gecko digger arm was used in sheet metal processing in 2017 – Perception Robotics sees an important future market for the production of solar modules

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KUKA (Germany): LBR Med, Lightweight Robot

The LBR Med Robot Assistant supported by Kuka Germany Diverse tasks in medical research and practice and works in close proximity to humans. Depending on the tool and program, the lightweight robot takes on different tasks in laboratories, clinics or operating theaters – for example during medical interventions, treatments or scientific test procedures. The LBR Med has seven axes and particularly sensitive sensors that are suitable for human-robot collaboration. The robot component can be integrated into medical devices worldwide and tested and certified according to international safety and quality standards. For example, LBR Med has biocompatible and corrosion resistant surfaces and meets internal hygiene standards in medical practices, clinics or operating theaters.


Lely International (Netherlands): Stable Floor Cleaning Robot

The Discovery 120 Collector navigates a programmed route through the stable and is controlled on its way by built-in sensors. The robot absorbs the manure on solid sidewalks. The machine can inject water at the front and back for dilution and cleaning. The built-in vacuum pump sucks the manure in – as soon as the tank is full, the Discovery goes to the dump. Here, the cleaning robot empties the tank and replenishes the water bags before returning to the charging station. Lely launched Discovery 2017 in several European countries as well as the USA. In the future, more countries will be added.

The IERA Award recognizes and honors the achievements of innovators with value-added ideas and entrepreneurs who drive these ideas to world-class products. The IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE / RAS) and IFR jointly support the award, underscoring their determination to foster collaboration between science and industry in robotics.

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