Winner 2017

Mittelpunkt Mensch

Human-centered robotic assistants for a brighter future

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sami Haddadin (Spokesperson)*
dr. med. (Univ. Debrecen) Simon Haddadin
Dipl.-Inf. (FH) Sven Parusel
*Leibniz Universität Hannover
FRANKA EMIKA GmbH, Munich

(f.l.t.r.) Dipl.-Inf. (FH) Sven Parusel, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sami Haddadin, dr. med. (Univ. Debrecen) Simon Haddadin

The use of robots to perform work in confined spaces or enclosed areas has substantially changed industrial production. A new generation of mechanical assistants is now to start working in digitally connected factories, supporting humans or working hand-in-hand with them. But before this can happen, the machines first have to be designed and programmed to able to work with as a team with their human counterparts. The question is how?

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sami Haddadin, dr. med (Univ. Debrecen) Simon Haddadin and Dipl.-Inf. (FH) Sven Parusel have an answer. The three scientists developed a sensitive and intuitive robot as the basis for many new automation engineering applications. The affordable system can be linked digitally and makes cooperation between man and machine safe - in industry and in the home. Sami Haddadin is the Director of the Institute of Automatic Control at Leibniz Universität Hannover - and was recently appointed Professor of Robotics and System Intelligence at the Technical University Munich (TUM). Sven Parusel is chief engineer at FRANKA EMIKA GmbH which Simon Haddadin heads as Managing Director. All three nominees pursued research for many years at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics at the German Aerospace Center DLR.

Before robots can be used in the future for a number of the tasks performed by humans today and easily operated, new technical concepts are needed. The automated machines used in manufacturing in the past are expensive, difficult to program and inflexible since they always only strictly complete set tasks. To prevent accidents, robots and humans are often separated by protective barriers. The robot developed by the nominated team, however, is designed to serve humans as a true mechanical assistant and work with 'their' human as a team without separating safety guards.

With this in mind, the scientists equipped the robot with various innovative features. It is modular in design and made of ultra-lightweight components. All joints have sensitive sensors and execute movements that imitate human motion. This makes it easy to predict the robot's behavior. Special controls also give the robot human-like compliance and sensitivity. The robot responds rapidly to the slightest point of contact with a human-like sense of touch and exhibits human-like reflexes. This prevents humans from being injured in the event of a collision with the machine.

The system is extremely easy to operate and requires no previous programming knowledge since the robots learn by 'watching'. One only need demonstrate the activities the robot is to perform. The machine learns the activity and can also use the acquired knowledge for other challenges – a skill conventional industrial robots do not have. To make programming as simple as possible, the nominees have also developed an innovative programming and operating concept. With it, tasks and sequences of motion can be broken down visually into small program modules, so-called robot apps. They make using robots as easy as using a smart phone – and opens up a wide range of new potential applications from which even small and medium-sized businesses stand to profit.

The technology is based entirely on research and development conducted in Germany, and all products are made in Germany. At Hannover Messe 2017, FRANKE EMIKA GmbH introduced a first robot to incorporate the new concept, produced by the company in Durach near Kempten, and being shipped to users in research and industry since August 2017. There are around 80 jobs at the company's research and development center in Munich. The future potential of the innovation is enormous: over 25 million machine assistants capable of learning and cooperating may soon be in use worldwide. The young company hopes to secure a long-term market share of 10 to 20 percent. The potential applications of the new system extend far beyond industrial production. The service robots of the future could be able to support care personnel for the elderly, the disabled or the ill. Plans are currently underway to test the robots in a project together with the city of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Another potential area of use is as a platform for training young people in robotics. Robots from FRANKA EMIKA are already being used in classes at schools and vocational schools in the state of Lower Saxony.

The right to nominate outstanding achievements for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis is incumbent on leading German institutions in science and industry as well as foundations.

The project "Human-centered robotic assistants for a brighter future" was submitted by acatech - the national academy of science and engineering, and the German Patent and Trademark Office DPMA as well as the German Rectors' Conference HRK.

more details

Resumes

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sami Haddadin

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sami Haddadin

26.06.1980
born in Neustadt am Rübenberge, Lower Saxony, Germany
1999
Abitur Gymnasium Stolzenau, Lower Saxony, Germany
1999
Academic language and admission course at University of Reading, UK
1999 – 2001
Diplom program Electrical Engineering at the University of Hanover, Germany
2000
Basic traineeship in Electrical Engineering at Dauerstahl, Dohle & Co. KG, Garbsen, Germany
2000 – 2001
Working student at University of Hanover/KBS, Hanover, Germany
2001
Traineeship at VMT (Vision Machine Technic), Weinheim, Germany
2001 – 2006
Diplom program Computer Science with minor Medical Computer Science at the Distance University of Hagen, Germany
2001 – 2002
Erasmus scholar in Electrical Engineering at the University of Oulu, Finland
2002 – 2003
Working student at Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
2002 – 2005
Diplom program Electrical Engineering at the Technical University of Munich, Germany
(Degree: Dipl.-Ing. (German M.Sc.) Electrical Engineering with honours)
2003 – 2005
Working student at Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany
2005 – 2008
Elite Graduate Program Technology Management at the Center for Digital Technology and Management, Technical University of Munich, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich & Elite Network Bavaria, Germany (Degree: Honours Degree Technology Management)
2006 – 2009
Master program Informatics at the Technical University of Munich, Germany (Degree: M.Sc. Informatics - honours with distinction)
2006 – 2010
Junior Scientist at Robotics and Mechatronics Center led by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerd Hirzinger, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
2006 – 2011
Dissertation at RWTH Aachen, Germany
passed with highest distinction summa cum laude
Committee: Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jürgen Roßmann, Hon.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerd Hirzinger
Title: "Towards Safe Robots: Approaching Asimov’s 1st Law"
2010 – 2013
Lecturer at Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
2010 – 2011
Coordinator “Human-Robot Interaction” at Robotics and Mechatronics Center led by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerd Hirzinger, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
2011
Visiting Researcher at Stanford University with Prof. Oussama Khatib, Palo Alto, USA
2011
Visiting Researcher at Willow Garage, Menlo Park, USA
2011 – 2012
Group Leader “Human-Robot Interaction” at Robotics and Mechatronics Center, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
2012 – 2013
Research consultant at Willow Garage, Menlo Park, USA
2012 – 2014
Scientific Coordinator “Human-Centered Robotics” at Robotics and Mechatronics Center, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
2013 – 2014
Program Coordinator “Terrestrial Assistance Robotics” at Robotics and Mechatronics Center led by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerd Hirzinger / Prof. Dr.-Ing. Alin Albu-Schäffer, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
2012 – 2014
CEO & Founder of Kastanienbaum GmbH, Munich, Germany
2014 – 2016
CEO & Founder of KBee AG, Munich, Germany
2014 - 2017
Appointed Full Professor (W3) at Institute of Automatic Control (IRT), Leibniz Universität Hannover, Hannover, Germany
since 2015
Evaluator/reviewer (Fachgutachter) DFG, BMBF, European Research Council
2017
Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA, Appointed Associate Professor, Declined
2017
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, Appointed Associate Professor, Declined
since 2018
Appointed Full Professor (W3) at Chair of Robotics Science and Systems Intelligence, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany
since 2018
Appointed Director Munich School of Robotics, Technical University of Munich, Munich, German

Further Occupations

since 2006
International reviewer and editor at the major robotics book publications (Handbook of Robotics), journals (IJRR, TRO, RAM, IFAC…) and conferences (IEEE ICRA, IEEE/RSJ IROS, RSS)
since 2006
Organizer and committee member at the major international robotics conferences IEEE ICRA, IEEE/RSJ IROS, RSS, HUMANOIDS, IFAC, Robio, …
since 2008
Member of IEEE
since 2011
International evaluator/reviewer Volkswagen Foundation, Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research, Luxembourg National Research Fund, Schweizer Nationalfonds, National Science Foundation, Agence Nationale de la Recherche
2007 – 2011
DIN representative and committe member: ISO Working Group (WG) 7, Personal care robot
since 2014
Member of euRobotics aisbl
since 2016
Member of the Board, Center for Systems Neuroscience, Hanover, Germany
since 2017
Member of the Board, Robotics & AI Law Society e.V. (RAILS)
since 2017
Member Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft für Montage, Handhabung und Industrierobotik (MHI)
since 2005
Several European Projects such as NEUROBOTICS, PHRIENDS, SMEROBOT, VIACTORS, SAPHARI, EUROC, SoftPro, ILIAD
Program Committee: 2017 International Symposium of Robotics Resarch (ISRR), Puerto Varas, Chile
Research Interests:
Mechatronic robot design
Human-Robot Interaction
Nonlinear control
Task, motion and reflex planning
Robot learning and optimal control
Human motor control
Neural control of assistive devices
Intelligent prosthetics
Humanoids
Safe Robots

Publications

More than 140 publications in the top international robotics journals, conferences and books
1 Book

Honors & Awards

2007
Winner: International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2007): Best Video Award
2008
Winner: Honours of the Elitenetwork Bavaria in Techology Management
2008
Winner: Industrial Robot Journal: 2008 Literati Best Paper Award
2008
Winner: International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2008): Best Application Paper Award
2009
Winner: International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2009): Best Service Robotics Paper Award
2009
Finalist: Robotdalen Scientific Award 2009, “Honorable Mention”
2010
Winner: 3rd place Walter Reis Innovation Award 2010
2010
Finalist: IROS 2010: Finalist Best Application Paper Award
2011
Winner: euRobotics Technology Transfer Award 2011 (DLR LWR-Team & KUKA LWR-Team)
2011
Dr.-Ing. with highest distinction summa cum laude at RWTH Aachen, Germany
2011
Winner: King-Sun Fu Memorial IEEE Transactions on Robotics Best Paper Award (best journal publication 2011 in robotics)
2012
Winner: Euron George Giralt PhD Award (best European dissertation in robotics)
2012
Finalist: SfN BCI Award
2012
Winner: IROS Best Jubilee Video Award
2012
Winner: IROS Best Video Award
2013
Winner: Martin Research Prize in Basic Research (awarded by Boston General Hospital & Harvard Medical School)
2013
Borchers Plaque of RWTH Aachen
2013
Winner: King-Sun Fu Memorial IEEE Transactions on Robotics Best Paper Award (best journal publication 2013 in robotics)
2013
Nominee: Falling Walls Science Startup of the Year
2014
Nominee: AAAI Best Robot Video Award
2015
Invitee German American Frontiers of Engineering, GAFOE 2015 of National Academy of Engineering of the National Academies & Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
2015
Winner: Landmarks in “Germany - Land of Ideas” initiative
2015
Winner: IEEE/RAS Early Career Award
2015
Winner: RSS Early Career Spotlight Talk
2015
Winner: Alfried Krupp Prize for Young Professors
2015
Capital „Junge Elite” 2015 Outstanding Talents under 40, category Society and Science
2016
3rd place: euRobotics Technology Transfer Award 2016 (Kastanienbaum & DLR-Team)
2016
Capital „Junge Elite” 2016 Outstanding Talents under 40
2017
FRANKA EMIKA „2017 Top Tech to Watch “ in IEEE Tech Review

dr. med. (Univ. Debrecen) Simon Haddadin

dr. med. (Univ. Debrecen) Simon Haddadin

05.03.1986
born in Bad Oeynhausen, NRW
1992 – 2000
Elementary and High School Stolzenau
2000 – 2005
Geschwister-Scholl High School, Berenbostel
2005 – 2006
Military service with Air Transport Squadron 62
2006
Mathematics and physics studies at Leibniz University Hanover
2006 – 2012
Medical studies at University Debrecen, Hungary
2010
United States Medical Licensing Exam
2012
Dissertation to medical doctor with excellence at the Institute of Pathology and Neuropathology with Prof. Peter Molnar
2010 – 2013
Research scientist at German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerd Hirzinger
2012 – 2016
PhD student at Technical University Munich, Graduate School of Bioengineering with PD Dr. Rainer Burgkart
2012
Co-founder of the DLR Spin-off Kastanienbaum GmbH
2013 – 2014
Research assistant and resident at Hanover Medical School, Traumatological Clinic with Prof. Dr. med. Christian Krettek
2015
Study physician at Municipal Hospital Munich in Schwabing, Clinic for Hematology, Oncology and Immunology with Prof. Dr. med. Clemens-Martin Wendtner
Since 2016
Co-founder and CEO of FRANKA EMIKA GmbH

Further

2008 – 2012
Scholarships for outstanding results of the University Debrecen
2011 - 2015
SAPHARI: Safe and Autonomous Physical Human Aware Interaction, European Integrated Project (FP7)
2013 – 2016
Helmholtz Validation Fund’s project „RACE-Lab“ – development of certifiable robot skills
2014
Nominated at the Falling Walls Science Start-Up of the Year
2015
Third winner of the euRobotics TechTransfer Award
Since 2016
Applicant and project lead of „//iSTRAP“ – intelligent and standardized robot apps for FRANKA EMIKA with the Bavarian Ministry of Economics
Since 2017
Project ROBINA – robot assisted services for an individualized and resource oriented intensive and palliative care for people with ALS
2017
FRANKA EMIKA „2017 Top Tech to Watch “ in IEEE Tech Review
Exp. 2017 Project lead of “KoBo34“ – intuitive interaction with cooperative assistive robots for people in the 3. and 4. live stage with the federal ministry of science and education

Publications and patents

15 national and international publications in journals an das conference talks
10 national and international patents

Dipl.-Inf. (FH) Sven Parusel

Dipl.-Inf. (FH) Sven Parusel

 
14.01.1985
Born in Kempten (Allgäu)
1991 - 1994
Elementary school Haubenschloß, Kempten (Allgäu)
1994 - 1997
Elementary school, Sonthofen
1997 - 2001
Middle school, Sonthofen
2001 - 2004
Technical secondary school, Sonthofen
2001 - 2002
Internship at Robert Bosch GmbH, Immenstadt
2002
Internship at Elektro Köberle e. K., Burgberg
2004 - 2009
Study of computer science at the University of Applied Sciences Kempten, specialization in practical computer science, Dipl.-Inf. (FH)
2005 – 2007
Internship at ATRIVIO GmbH, Kempten
2005 - 2016
Self-employed Softwaredeveloper / Webdeveloper
2009 - 2014
Research assistant at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, Oberpfaffenhofen with Dr.-Ing. Sami Haddadin
2012
Founding of Kastanienbaum GmbH, München
since 2012
Chief Technology Officer at Kastanienbaum GmbH, München
2014
Founding of KBee AG, München
2014 - 2016
Chief Engineer at KBee AG, München
2016
Founding of FRANKA EMIKA GmbH, München
since 2016
Chief Engineer at FRANKA EMIKA GmbH, München

Further functionings

2011 - 2015
SAPHARI:Safe and Autonomous Physical Human Aware Interaction, European Integrated Project (FP7)
2015 - 2016
Projectlead RACE-Lab: Robot Application Creator, supported by Helmholtz Validation Fund

Honours

2010
Finalist: IROS 2010 Best Application Paper Award
2011
King-Sun Fu Memorial IEEE Transactions on Robotics Best Paper Award
2013
Nominee: 2013 Falling Walls Science Startup of the Year
2014
Nominee: 2014 AAAI Best Robot Video Award

Contact

Spokesperson

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sami Haddadin
Institut für Reglungstechnik
Leibniz Universität Hannover
Appelstraße.11
30167 Hannover
Phone: + 49 (0) 511 / 76 24 523
E-Mail: Sami.haddadin@irt.uni-hannover.de
www.irt.uni-hannover.de

Press

dr. med. (Univ. Debrecen) Simon Haddadin
Geschäftsführer
FRANKA EMIKA GmbH
Infanteriestraße 19, Geb.3
80797 München
Phone: + 49 (0) 89 / 20 06 06 026
Fax: + 49 (0) 89 / 20 06 06 921
E-Mail: simon.haddadin@franka.de
www.franka.de

www.facebook.com/frankaemika/
www.twitter.com/FRANKAEMIKA

Mechtild Freiin v. Münchhausen, M.A.
Leiterin Referat für Kommunikation und Marketing
Pressesprecherin
Leibniz Universität Hannover
Welfengarten 1
30167 Hannover
Phone: + 49 (0) 511 / 76 25 355
Fax: + 49 (0) 511 / 76 25 391
Mobile: + 49 (0) 177 / 37 34 026
E-Mail: vonMuenchhausen@zuv.uni-hannover.de
www.uni-hannover.de

A description provided by the institutes and companies regarding their nominated projects

Robotics will substantially and sustainably impact our world, becoming one of the future central societal topics. Nowadays, however, it is only accessible to a limited number of people. High costs, complex programming and operation, as well as basic technological restrictions, which – among others – lead to absolute separation of robots and humans by safety fences which seem to be impregnable hurdles. How can such a complex technology be made available to the general public or even to manufacturers in developing let alone third world countries?

State of the art robotics technology has essentially been stagnating over the past 30 years. It offers solutions that are remote from humans, extremely expensive and non-flexible, suitable only for precise positioning (e.g. setting spot welds), programmed to predefined paths (e.g., painting) behind safety fences. However, originally, robots should – fundamental ideas can even be traced back to universal scholars like Leonardo Da Vinci or Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz – support humans and free them from burdening or slave labor, which is reflected already in the Western Slavic notion “robota” (drudgery, respectively its original meaning work). For this, robots have to be affordable, flexible, and scalable. Technically speaking, this means that they must be easy to use and suitable for a multitude of tasks. In addition, already known solutions have to be adaptable and applicable to different but somewhat similar problems. In the upcoming years the Nominees aim to bring robotics back to the aforementioned original goal.

Inspired and guided by this vision, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sami Haddadin, dr. med. (Univ. Debrecen) Simon Haddadin and Dipl.-Inf. Sven Parusel conducted pioneering basic research at the renowned Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics at DLR, followed by a technology transfer and development in a jointly founded start-up. The ultimate goal was to develop the first system of a completely new robot generation - affordable, safe, intelligent – an actively supporting tool for humans. It was initially designed as a factory assistant, evolving into a service robot for supporting elderly and sick persons, and, finally, a helper in our daily live.

At the Hannover Fair 2017 FRANKA EMIKA presented its “Power tool” Panda. This system was designed based on a worldwide unique robotic technology fully developed in Germany, and is now manufactured in Bavaria. Via the use of robot apps the system is as easy to handle as a smartphone, allowing even users with no previous knowledge in robotics to teach it new complex tasks within a couple of minutes. Its outstanding sensitivity allows the system to safely work side by side with humans and learn from them.

The significance of the ultra-lightweight, modular FRANKA EMIKA technology in robotics can be compared to the introduction of PCs and Apps at their time. To interact with the real world, the system is based on new sensitive sensors embedded into each joint, technically imitating the human muscular apparatus. This high sensitivity enables compliance and reactivity via an artificial central nervous system, as well as a learning ability of sensorimotoric skills due to novel machine learning algorithms. Furthermore, collective learning of interconnected robot systems became possible for the first time, i,e., the systems can learn from each other. In order to be able to control new characteristics such as sensitivity, interconnectivity and learning, the Nominees have also developed a new programming and interaction paradigm. The human becomes the teacher of the robotic co-worker, making it a useful and effective tool responding to his or her needs. In recently launched projects, these robot assistants will be used in disabled workshops as well as for helping people suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The necessity for our society to extensively use smart assistive systems in order to master challenges such as the demographic change, worldwide competition, or the rising product and service individualization is evident. The ever-increasing number of elderly people makes it almost impossible to support them with dignity and diligence and let them have a satisfying future in their own homes, taking into account the significant lack of qualified personnel. In order to overcome this problem, the Nominees currently develop the personal robot GARMI based on their FRANKA EMIKA technology, which will help preserve autonomy for the elderly and help relieve nurses and caregivers from burdensome work. Within the framework of a long-term project in cooperation with the market town Garmisch-Partenkirchen, this development is sought to have worldwide impact also by designing and implementing pilot apartments in nursing homes that are equipped with GARMI systems.

Furthermore, the Nominees currently work on using this new robotic technology to develop the next generation arm prostheses, which are nowadays still rather simple mechanical gripping devices than capable upper limb substitutes for everyday life. The novel affordable arm prosthesis myLimb that is currently undergoing a thorough testing phase has already shown promising results. It is equipped with previously unknown human-like sensitivity and protective reflexes. myLimb makes use of its built-in learning algorithms to acquire new skills. In symbiosis with the app concept this facilitates the ease of use of the system. New users were able to quickly perform even bimanual manipulation tasks without lengthy trainings. Such level of autonomy-based usability of prostheses allows also preventing users for harmful situations such as e.g. accidentally touching a heated hotplate.

The Nominees want to make their technology accessible to all members of society. This explains also their major focus on working with children and teenagers, the robonatives, who will establish a new societal epoch similarly to the Digital Natives. This robonatives generation can ensure that the symbiosis of German engineering and state-of-the-art computer science makes robotics a key technology of our society. For this, the simple and free access to the ecosystem via FRANKA World as well as the earliest possible training of young people at FRANKA Academy are crucial. The results will be unprecedented opportunities for added value, as robot apps can be developed by start-ups, students or hobbyists with almost no investment, creating new commercial and non-commercial applications. Above all, small and medium-sized enterprises can also benefit greatly from the access to such systems and even increase their national and international competitiveness.

The Nominees have been working together for more than a decade on the realization of their vision. Sami Haddadin is the Director of the Institute of Automatic Control at Leibniz University Hannover (LUH) and has recently accepted to become Professor of Robotics Science and System Intelligence at Technical University of Munich (TUM) after having declined offers from Stanford University and MIT. He was also appointed as Founding Director of the TUM "Munich School of Robotics". Simon Haddadin is the CEO of FRANKA EMIKA GmbH, headquartered in Munich, where Sven Parusel is Head of the Software and Control Department as Chief Engineer. Currently, FRANKA EMIKA GmbH has more than 80 employees at its Research and Development Center in Munich, which is expanded monthly by international talents, attracting experts from all over the world. Starting September 2017, the system will be shipped to the research community, to serve as a reference platform for worldwide robotics research. The production site is currently home to about 40 employees and has already been designed to produce 300 systems a week. International development, support, sales and production sites are in advanced planning and will be launched beginning of next year focusing on manufacturers of consumer electronics such as PCs, smartphones, etc., as well as professional end devices as medical devices. In the long run, the Nominees expect a market share of 10-20% in a world where over 25 million such assistive systems will be deployed over the next decade.

The right to nominate outstanding achievements for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis is incumbent on leading German institutions in science and industry as well as foundations.

The project "Human-centered robotic assistants for a brighter future" was submitted by acatech - the national academy of science and engineering, and the German Patent and Trademark Office DPMA as well as the German Rectors' Conference HRK.

Nominee 2017 · TEAM 3