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March 2014

Float - Helping Patients Learn to Walk, Winner of euRobotics Technology Transfer Award 2014

The eleventh euRobotics Technology Transfer Award was presented during the European Robotics Forum 2014 in Rovereto, Italy.  This year, the winner was “Float” (Free Levitation for Overground Active Training), an overhead body-weight support system based on a cable-driven robotic setup which primarily helps patients learn to walk.  Float is the product of collaboration among Lutz Medical Engineering, ETH Zurich, and Balgrist Rehabilitation Clinic.

The roboticists who gathered in Rovereto, Italy, for the Forum on March 12th -14th, heard presentations from all five finalists during the second day of the conference.  The prize was announced at the Gala Dinner held the same evening by Martin Hägele, the coordinator of the award and the head of the Robot and Assistive Systems division of the Fraunhofer IPA.  Martin Hägele thanked all finalists plus EUnited Robotics, the European Robotics association, for sponsoring the award totalling € 6000, in addition to certificates.  Henrik A. Schunk, managing partner of SCHUNK and chairman of EUnited Robotics, commented: "Innovation is at the heart of maintaining or expanding Europe's global economic lead and technology transfer is the key to successful innovations.  That's why EUnited Robotics' members have been sponsoring the award since 2005 and are proud that it has gained such prominence among the European robotics community."

The winner of the second prize was "Efficient Implementation of Iterative Inverse Kinematics in Real Time Control Architecture", product of a cooperation between Politecnico di Torino and Comau Robotics.

Other finalists were:

-        Bayesian Perception and Decision: From Theory to Industrial Applications, by INRIA, CNRS and ProbaYes.
-        TeleFlex: the Future of Robotics Flexible Endoscopy, by Demcon, Meander Medical Center, University of Twente.
-        Volumental- Research Driven Scanning for Everyone, by Volumental and KTH.


The euRobotics Technology Transfer Award is presented each year in recognition of outstanding innovations in the field of robotics and automation, in order to promote excellence in applied research, and technology transfer between research and industry.

The award is supported by EUnited Robotics, the European Robotics Association, and is financially sponsored by the following industrial members: ABB, KUKA Roboter, COMAU, GÜDEL, and SCHUNK.

Jury members:
-        Anne Wendel, EUnited Robotics, Brussels 
-        Dr. Nicola Tomatis, Bluebotics, Switzerland 
-        Martin Hägele, Fraunhofer IPA, Germany 
-        Dr. Rainer Bischoff, KUKA, Germany 
-        Prof. Herman Bruyninckx, KU Leuven 
-        Dr. Gisbert  Lawitzky, Siemens AG, Germany

Click here to see the complete press release.


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