Three IfI PhD students win KUKA Innovation Award in worldwide competition

Matthias Fässler, Flavio Fontana, and Elias Müggler of IfI’s Robotics and Perception Group have been awarded the KUKA Innovation Award - a great achievement for the three PhD students who just started their second year! 30 teams worldwide from top research institutions participated, but only four got selected for the finals, which took place yesterday during the AUTOMATICA fair in Munich.

Their demo consisted of a mock-up search-and-rescue scenario, in which a drone guides a ground robot carrying a first-aid kit to a victim that is stuck in a collapsed building. Their scientific contributions were novel path-planning, control, and perception algorithms for the coordinated motion of multiple heterogeneous robots.

The committee was composed of the KUKA director, Stanford University professor Oussama Khatib, and IEEE Spectrum among other famous robotics and computer science professionals. The winners also received special congratulations in person from Prof. Vijay Kumar from UPenn, assistant director of robotics at the White House.

News article (in German)

The KUKA Innovation Award winners: