The “Robotics Festival 2022” shows how robots are changing the world

Leipzig. The second edition of the “Robotics Festival” – and robots rule again. Until Thursday, the meeting will be used for networking and exchange between international scientists, industry and start-ups. Thomas Schulz, managing director of the Robot Valley industrial cluster in Saxony, promised “three festival days with practical innovations” at the opening Tuesday. They are all about automation and robotics.

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Dresden on the way to the top

Robotics, or robot technology, is about trying to transfer information technology to the physical world. Put simply: robots should interact with people and relieve them from work. A promising concept as the robotics market will double in the coming years, says cluster boss Schulz. In addition to Aachen and Munich, Dresden in particular, with its University of Excellence, is developing into another international location for robot technology. In Saxony, some 330 companies, 41 research institutes and 27 robotics start-ups are heading into the future. “A lot is happening,” said Schulz in his opening speech.

Thomas Schulz, Managing Director of the Robot Valley Saxony industrial cluster, opens the “Robotics Festival 2022” in Leipzig with his speech.

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The emphasis is on usability

The areas in which robot technology is used are diverse. One of the most important markets this year is mid-size companies. The lack of qualified employees and too few interns is a serious problem for small and medium-sized enterprises. The chance may lie in robotics and automation. One of the main goals of the festival is therefore user-friendliness. Expert Schulz emphasized that it was getting better. “In principle, anyone can organize a robot, install it, and have it complete tasks.”

“People make decisions”

Many fear that robots will make people redundant in the labor market. But it is not, said Michael Engel of Security Robotics. “People are where the decisions are made,” he said. Nothing will change in this. Robots are there to do hard or dangerous work. Engel develops and markets software for connecting different robots. And not everything will be automated. “You always have to see where the added value lies for the company,” said Engel.

Michael Engel (right) from Security Robotics with his robots.

Michael Engel (right) from Security Robotics with his robots.

One hand teaches the other

What else is possible? Programmers are replaced by a glove called mimetics. Slipped in for a moment, movement that imitates a robot is demonstrated. The technology is suitable, for example, for grinding in a carpentry shop or for kneading dough in a bakery. At the “Robotics Festival” in Leipzig, a robot hand is used as a controller in a computer game.

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Tina Geschwandtner from 6G-Life presents the Mimetik glove.

Tina Geschwandtner from 6G-Life presents the Mimetik glove.

The “warthog” closes gas leaks

Mikhail Belov (CeTI) presented a yellow, massive vehicle called “Warthog” (English: warthog). By connecting to drones, it is able to close gas leaks. This is where the human-robot interaction takes place: the human puts on VR glasses and puts on gloves equipped with sensors. The leak can be repaired from a safe distance.

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This “warthog” can stop gas leaks.

“Saxony is an important location for robotics”

At one of the stands, Björn Ulrichsohn, sales manager for East Germany at Schmalz, presented a robotic gripper arm that assembles and then disassembles a bobby car. Such gripper arms would cost at least € 25,000 – depending on the scope of services, they are more expensive. “Saxony is becoming increasingly important as a location for robotics,” said Ulrichsohn. Many companies would already move. She is here to make contacts and looking forward to the days in Leipzig.

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Björn Ulrichsohn oversees robotic assembly of the car's bobby.

Björn Ulrichsohn oversees robotic assembly of the car’s bobby.

It doesn’t always have to be expensive

RBTX shows that robotics can also be inexpensive. The company from Cologne has its robots manufactured in Germany. “We focus on transparency and user-friendliness and pay attention to low prices,” said Alexander Mühlens. One of the robots on display, which can perform simple but precise work, costs almost 10,000 euros. RBTX technology should be affordable, especially for medium-sized businesses. “People want to calculate savings right away with one of our robots. We can provide it, ”explained Mühlens.

Alexander Mühlens (second from left) talking to the person concerned.

Alexander Mühlens (second from left) talking to the person concerned.

Automation and robotics as solutions to the problems of the future

According to Robot Valley Saxony’s managing director, Schulz, the world faces major challenges: a shortage of skilled workers, a growing population, and the withdrawal of the baby boomers from working life. Automation and robotics are the solution. The “Robotics Festival 2022” can be used to see how far research and industry has come with this project.

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Author: Vincent Ebneth

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