This past week, over 3000 attendees from across the world gathered in sunny Madrid, Spain, for the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS).
Visitors were offered high-level presentations given by researchers and tech company representatives, as well as the 150 exhibitors, showcasing the latest advances in intelligent robots, humanoids, autonomous cars, service robots in medical applications, assistance, agriculture, maintenance and inspection of infrastructures, rescue, aerial, terrestrial, submarine robotics, etc.
The ECHORD++ booth was situated in the EU Exhibition Area presenting four prototypes: CLARC, EXOTRAINER, LINarm++ and SIAR. ANYmal, which started as the ECHORD++ Experiment MODUL, had its own booth in the main exhibition area. All the exhibits found lots of interest and some were even featured on Spanish television. http://rtve.es/v/4777498?t=25m13s (IROS report from minute 25)
The aim of the forum was to share the results of 35 robotic experiments, PDTIs and Robotic Innovation Facilities financed under the ECHORD++ European Project and the lessons learned in the innovative procedures developed during the past five years.
GEOFF PEGMAN, Managing Director of RURobots, moderated the Forum, in which Dr. CECILE HUET, Head of Unit Robotics and Artificial Intelligence of the European Commission spoke about the role of ECHORD++ as a pioneer for new tools in EU funding programmes and a booster of technology transfer.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. ALOIS KNOLL from Technical University of Munich, gave a retrospective of the past 10 years as the coordinator of the ECHORD project and its successor ECHORD++, in which two new instruments, RIFs (Robotics Innovation Facilities) and PDTI (Public end-user Driven Technological Innovation) were introduced.
Prof. Dr. CHRIS MELHUISH from Bristol Robotics Laboratory, Bristol, United Kingdom outlined the importance of RIFs to attract new user groups and Prof. Dr. ALBERTO SANFELIU from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, explained in detail how the tailor-made robotics solutions for customers in the public sectors developed to the so-called PDTIs (Public End-user Driven Technological Innovation).
Prof. Dr. PAOLO DARIO from the BioRobotics Institute – Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna, Pisa, spoke about the third instrument of the ECHORD++ project, the Experiments, who were provided incentives to encourage European robot manufacturers and research institutes to work together on an operational level, with tangible and measurable results to accelerate the development of technologies and their deployment into new application scenarios.
As an example for a successful technology transfer in Experiments, Dr. ELENA GARCIA from CAR.UPM-CSIC. MARSIBIONICS spoke about the EXOTRAINER prototype, and PAULO ALVITO from IDMIND presented his PDTI Urban prototype for Sewer Inspection Autonomous Robot SIAR.
After the Forum drinks and snacks were served for all participants.