Robots come out of the research lab

Robots come out of the research lab

This year’s Swiss Robotics Day – an annual event run by the National Center for Competence in Research (NCCR) in robotics led by EPFL – will be held at the Beaulieu Congress Center in Lausanne. For the first time, this annual event will take place over two days: the first day, November 4, will be reserved for industry professionals, while the second day, November 5, will be open to the public.

Visitors at this year’s Swiss Robotics Day can get a look at some exciting new technologies: a robotic exoskeleton that enables paralyzed patients to skate, a device displaying a strand of hair that can be guided through a human vein, a four-legged robot that can navigate obstacles, and an artificial skin that can diagnose early stage disease Parkinson’s disease, a swarm of drones, and more.

The event, now in its seventh year, was created by NCCR . robotics In 2015. It expanded into a leading conference for the Swiss robotics industry, bringing together university researchers, companies and citizens from all over the country. For Swiss robotics experts, this event provides an opportunity to meet their peers, share ideas, explore new business opportunities and find promising new employees. That’s what they’ll be doing on Friday, November 4 – the day dedicated to industry professionals.

on Saturday, November 5The doors will open to the general public. Visitors of all ages can discover the latest inventions from Swiss research and development laboratories and manufactured by local companies – including some start-ups. The event will include discussions and panel discussions on topics such as the ethics of robotics, space robotics, robotics in art and how artificial intelligence can be used to promote sustainable development – all issues that will shape the future of the industry. PhD students will provide a glimpse into where robotics research stands today, while school-age children can sign up for robotics-building workshops. Teachers can participate in workshops offered by the Roteco robotics teaching community and learn how robotics technology can support learning in the classroom.

Enrica Soria, a doctoral student at LIS/EPFL, has worked on algorithms that make swarms of drones fly through crowded spaces.

© 2021 Alan Herzog / EPFL

In the 5,000-square-meter exhibition hall of the convention center, about 70 booths with all kinds of robotics demonstrations will be set up, complete with a drone flight area. The technology developed will be showcased as part of the international Cybathlon competition; This competition was introduced by NCCR Robotics in 2016 to encourage research on assistance systems for people with disabilities. Silke Pan will present a dance performance with a robotic exoskeleton, designed by Antoine Le Moual of Béjart Ballet Company. Conversations will be conducted in French and English. Entry is free but Register wanted.

Laying the foundations for future success

Swiss Robotics Day 2022 will mark the end of NCCR Robotics, capping 12 years of cutting-edge research. The center was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and has sponsored research and development in 31 laboratories at seven Swiss institutions: EPFL, ETH Zurich, University of Zurich, IDSIA-SUPSI-USI in Lugano, University of Bern, EMPA and University of Basel. NCCR Robotics has given rise to 16 branches in high-impact fields such as mobile robotics, drones, search and rescue systems, and education. Together, the spin-offs have raised more than CHF100 million in funding, and some, like Flyability and ANYbotics, have grown into established companies creating hundreds of high-tech jobs. The center has also launched several educational and community initiatives to promote robotics education in Switzerland.

After the center is closed, some of its activities – particularly those related to technology transfer – will be carried out through the Innovation Booster Robotics program sponsored by Innosuisse and based at EPFL. The program, initially funded for three years, is designed to promote robotics in universities and the business world.

© NCCR Robotics

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