The first European Robotics Week: robots on display
 
Brussels, 28th November 2011 – Today is the start of the first European Robotics Week: from 28th of November to 4th of December 2011, over 130 organisations in 19 European countries organise over 350 robotics related activities across Europe, highlighting and promoting the growing importance of European robotics in a wide variety of application areas. The week’s aim is also to inspire students of all ages while building their interest in technology and innovation.    

There is a lot going on in Europe during the European Robotics Week: school visits with lectures on robotics, guided tours for pupils, open labs, exhibitions, challenges, robots in action on public squares…. The participating companies, universities and research centres have come up with interesting programs to bring their robots and organisations to the attention of the public educating them on how robotics impacts society, both now and in the future.

European Robotics Remote Labs - online viewing of activities

See what’s going on in the robotics labs across Europe during the European Robotics Week via Internet from anywhere in the world! More than 45 European Robotics Labs open their labs via live-streaming. Either pre-recorded videos or live-streaming cameras show the labs’ activities. “I am proud to be a European roboticists and so are many colleagues and friends all over Europe!”, says Professor Stefano Stramigioli from University of Twente (Netherlands) and initiator of the European Robotics Remote Labs. “A lot of great robotics activities are going on in Europe and this week is an opportunity to show it to the world. That’s why I had the idea to start the European Robotics Remote Labs initiative.” All participating European Robotics Labs are grouped and displayed at http://www.robotics-labs.eu/.

More information and listing of all 355 events (sorted by country and date) athttp://www.robotics-week.eu/

Participating countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK.

Do you have further questions? Anne Wendel (Tel: +32 2 706 8222; Email: anne.wendel@eu-nited.net) will be happy to answer them.

Statements of participating organisations 

„The European Robotics Week is an opportunity we have all been waiting for. In everyday life we often see that this exciting and promising area of technology is often inadequately represented and is by far not known in all its facets to a broader audience. Robotics is a fascinating technology and we experience that everyday whether in dealing with our customers, in trade shows and events, or even just at home with our children or our friends. The importance of robot-based automation for Europe is obvious. The use of robotics and automation provides competitive, reliable and high quality production. We look forward to an interesting series of events and are committed to highlight robotics in its wide variety of application areas! "
Heinz Gerteiser, Head of Robotics central Europe, ABB Automation GmbH, Germany 

“We are pleased that we now have a “Robotics Week” in Europe. Adept in America has successfully participated twice at the National Robotics Week, so it was natural for us to also support this action in Europe.  With our "Open Day" we would like to show teachers and students a variety of robotic kinematics in action. The students and teachers can enjoy a varied program with live demonstrations and presentations of new products and software solutions. "

Joachim Melis, CEO, Adept Germany 

“European robotics has a lot to offer to Europe - and to the rest of the world!

With RoboEarth we are working towards a World Wide Web for robots - a giant network and database repository that connects robots worldwide.”

Markus Waibel, senior researcher, ETH Zurich, Switzerland 

“Greenlightforgirls.org is thrilled to participate in the European Robotics Week because the area of robotics presents us with so many hands-on and fun ways to teach "science, technology, engineering and mathematics to girls of all ages and backgrounds" - which is our foundation's mission.  We expect about 300 girls, ages 11-15, at our Greenlight@Brussels Day 2011 on 26 November!”

Cheryl D. Miller, European Director & Technology Chair at greenlight for girls aisbl (Brussels, Belgium). 

“Our Robotics Research Group is happy to participate in the European Robotics Week. This is a great opportunity to show our lab and what we do to the local public. The large number of participating organisations is a strong signal that robotics is a dynamic and innovative scientific and technological community in Europe.”

Herman Bruyninckx, professor at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Leuven, Belgium) and coordinator of EURON (European Robotics Research Network). 

“Robotics plays a key role in increasing productivity, energy-efficiency and quality of manufacturing. Companies that have consistently invested in automation technologies are still able to produce in Europe and remain competitive. This is a fact which also applies to the future!“

Bernd Liepert, CTO KUKA & CEO KUKA Labs (Augsburg, Germany) and president of EUROP (European Robotics Technology Platform).  

“Robotics offers enormous potentials to professional newcomers and the society as a whole. In the near future, robots will become an integral part of our lives. It’s similar to the computer business some decades ago: no one ever imagined what important role PCs would play today’s life. The same will happen with robots.”

Henrik A. Schunk, Managing Partner SCHUNK GmbH (Lauffen, Germany) and Chairman of EUnited Robotics (European Robotics Association). 

“This is a great opportunity for Scuola di Robotica to participate in the first, European-wide, high level and grass-roots network of robotics events picturing the manifold of issues and potentials of this science field. Robotics is going to deeply change humanity’s idea of itself; to change the method of conducting scientific inquiry and the way in which we think, develop and use technology. Robotics will fundamentally improve our quality of life, and our planets’ well-being.”

Fiorella Operto, professor at Scuola di Robotica (Genova, Italy) and coordinator of the European Robotics Week in Italy. 

SINTEF is organizing and participating in the European Robotics Week as a means of promoting the importance of robotics research for Norwegian industry and society.

Innovative robotic solutions is important for Norway as we have small scale production and many industrial environments where the operator is carrying out heavy and repetitive work.

Dr. Ingrid Schjølberg, Research Manager, SINTEF ICT (Trondheim, Norway)

“We open the doors to our lab to give all better insight into what robots can and cannot do.”

Markus Vincze, professor at TU Wien (Vienna, Austria) 

“I am passionate about public engagement and I believe that robots are a wonderful vehicle for communicating science and technology in a fun and thought provoking way. Robots are not only interesting and useful gadgets but make us think about life and intelligence in a new way. I'm delighted to be part of European Robotics Week, helping to show that Europe has a strong and vibrant robotics community.”

Professor Alan Winfield, Director of Science Communication Unit, University of the West of England, Bristol 

The European Robotics Week is a great opportunity to promote European robotics and entice younger generations to take up studies and careers in science and technology. The fact that this burgeoning area is being exposed simultaneously all across Europe by a wide variety of organizations, adds special value and distinction to this event. As an engineer, a researcher and an educator in robotics and related technologies, I strongly support outreach initiatives of this type. During this week of activities we will demonstrate the importance of robotics to school children and the general public, explain its impact on modern and future life and showcase the activities and accomplishments of our Faculty in this field of technology.

Simon G. Fabri, Professor at University of Malta 

“I am proud to be a European roboticist and so are many other colleagues and friends all over Europe. A lot of great robotics activities are going on in Europe and this week is an opportunity to show it to the world. That’s why I had the idea to start the European Robotics Remote Labs initiative.”

Stefano Stramigioli, professor at University of Twente, Netherlands and initiator of the European Robotics Remote Labs.   

“The European Robotics Week is an excellent opportunity! We present to the public both research results in robotics and the ways in which robotics can make their professional and private lives easier and more pleasant. We expect that the European Robotics Week attracts wider attention and attracts young people to study technical subjects.” 

Ladislav Vargovic, CEO of ZTS VVU Kosice a.s., Slovakia 

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About EUROP

The European Robotics Technology Platform (EUROP) is an industry-driven platform comprising the main stakeholders in robotics. Its goal is to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness in robotics research and development and global markets, as well as to improve the quality of life of European citizens. EUROP was founded in 2005, as one of several European Technology Platforms (ETPs) supported by the European Commission.  The EUROP secretariat is managed by EUnited Robotics, the European Robotics Association.
Further information at http://www.robotics-platform.eu

About euRobotics Coordination Action

The euRobotics Coordination Action targets two main objectives: the improvement of cooperation between industry and academia, and the enhancement of public perception of (European) robotics.
The euRobotics Coordination Action is funded by the European Commission within the 7th Framework Programme, Challenge 3: Cognitive Systems, Interaction, Robotics. (FP7-ICT-244852; 01/2010-12/2012).  
Further information at http://www.eurobotics-project.eu

Contact: 
Anne Wendel
EUnited Robotics 
Tel.: +32 2 70682-22
E-mail: anne.wendel@eu-nited.net