The European edition of RoboBusiness is growing and quickly becoming an interesting event for "all things robotics" in Europe, from innovative research to new products. Following ROS-Industrial's participation at last year's edition, we had a strong presence at the event which took place June 1-3 in Odense, Denmark.
As RIC-EU Program Manager I presented "ROS-Industrial: bringing open-source robotics innovation to the factory floor". In the same track, Prof. Martijn Wisse from TU Delft, scientific advisor to RIC-EU, spoke about "Increasing the application of robotics and automation in EU". Together we conveyed the concept of using the ROS-Industrial platform as 1) a technology enabler to cross the "valley of death", i.e., the gap between the level of technical maturity at which academic research can bring robot technology and the level required to start its industrial application and commercialization; and 2) an open-source accelerator for the development of advanced robotic applications. As the platform evolves and incorporates new features, it can become for robotics something akin to what Android is for smartphones, that is, a very powerful technology enabler. ROS and ROS-Industrial are now on the radar of most actors in the robotics arena, so ROS(-I)'s maturation into the de-facto standard open-source software platform for robotics is well underway.
ROS-Industrial was also well represented at the exhibition. RIC-EU member BlueWorkforce showcased its Ragnar robot and platform, while Team Delft demonstrated their ROS-I powered entry to the 2016 Amazon Picking Challenge, which has just four weeks to go until the competition takes place in Leipzig, Germany. Best of luck, Team Delft!
It is remarkable that Henrik Christensen, professor at Georgia Tech and director of the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, mentioned ROS-Industrial as a noteworthy initiative which he praised as an effort towards much-needed standardization of robotics software. Such standardization is a necessary prerequisite to enable more and more advanced applications of robotics technology.
See you at RoboBusiness Europe 2017, April 20-21 in Delft, the Netherlands!