As the European Robotics Forum 2021 (ERF2021, www.erf2021.eu) enters its third and final day, we look back on a couple of highlights from day two of this most influential showcase for the robotics community in Europe.
A fast-paced session took participants on an energetic canter through 24 new robotics projects funded under the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/events/workshop-new-horizon-2020-robotics-projects).
Later, Professor Heike Vallery from the Technical University of Delft gave an enthusiastically-received keynote address on robotics for individuals who have lost motor functions and the often tough journey that such innovations encounter en route from the laboratory to adoption and commercialisation. As well as citing notable successes as she outlined ingredients that made it possible to bring academic ideas to the market, Heike also covered less successful tech transfer attempts, the reasons why and lessons learned.
The afternoon’s formal sessions ended with a short ceremony to announce the winners of this year’s euRobotics Awards. Earlier in the day, three distinct selection juries made their final shortlists before declaring the ultimate winners. The Georges Giralt PhD Award (named after a European robotics pioneer) was awarded jointly to Giuseppe Averta (University of Pisa) for a thesis on human-aware robotics, and Bernd Henze (Technical University of Pisa) for a thesis on balance in humanoid robots. The Technical Transfer Award first prize was awarded for the Vemo initiative, the first AI-powered robotic therapy in intensive care. Finally, the Entrepreneurship Award first prize was awarded to the MyLeg, a project to develop powered prosthetic legs (www.myleg.eu).
The day closed with a much more informal event, a virtual charity run which raised nearly five thousand euros on behalf of Workshop4Me (www.workshop4me.com), a non-profit organisation which teaches coding to children.
ERF 2021 ends today (Thursday 15 April).
ERF2021 is taking place as a virtual event 13-15 April 2021. With over 700 registered participants, ERF2021 covers all aspects and current themes related to the field of robotics. Researchers, engineers, managers, and a growing number of entrepreneurs, businesspeople, and public funding officers from all over Europe come together to discuss technology push and market pull and how innovation in robotics and robotics-related AI can be accelerated. The European Robotics Forum 2021 is organised by euRobotics, a Brussels-based international non-profit association for all stakeholders in European robotics.
Twitter hashtag: #ERF2021