at Automatica 2023

Robothon® – The Grand Challenge 2022 // Call for Teams

Dear Robothon® Community!

We, the Munich Institute of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MIRMI) of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), in collaboration with Messe München

and automatica have launched successfully a new high-tech platform calledmunich_i in 2021, an event bringing together the world’s leading thought leaders and personalities from AI and robotics.

munich_i will take place again at the next automatica from June 21-24, 2022 in Munich, therefore

Robothon®, the international competition to develop skills in robot manipulations, will also go into the second round!! 

Robothon® – The Grand Challenge Series focuses on pressing and unsolved challenges of our time and was 2021 held digitally in the run-up to the automatica sprint

with 9 international teams and a renowned Grand Challenge Jury. As a highlight, it ended with the Award Ceremony on June 22, 2021

with 4 winning teams, a total prize money of € 22,500, great recognition and an expansion of our community.

Are you a motivated robotics enthusiast looking for new challenges?

CALL FOR TEAMS is open until March 31, 2022!!

Apply HERE!


  • Robothon® will once again will be held digitally from April 29 to June 1, 2022
  • Special highlight: the Award Ceremony will take place on-site on June 21, 2022, during automatica at the Messe München!


  • Robothon® againwill focus on single-arm robot manipulation
  • The Grand Challenge 2022: disassembly and sorting of e-waste
  • The competition is free of charge 
  • Up to 20 selected teams can participate (2-4 members) 
  • All roboticists (academic and young professionals) are encouraged to apply
  • Teams will need to provide their own robot to complete the challenge remotely
  • Each team will receive an internet connected competition task board by mail
  • The processing period of 1 month starts from receipt of the competition scorecard 
  • Team performances will be evaluated by the Grand Challenge Jury 
  • Prize money awaits the finalists!

HAVEN’T SIGNED UP YET? Apply as a team until March 31, 2022, and visit our website to learn more. 

Know someone who should participate? Please help spread the word!

Feel free to email us with any questions at [email protected].

With kind regards,

The Robothon® Team

Barbara Schilling & Peter So (Technical Leader)

Robothon® – The Grand Challenge 2021 goes digital!

What is the Robothon®?

The Robothon® – Grand Challenge Series is an international competition in robot manipulation and one of the 4 areas of munich_i

– a new high-tech format of Messe München, automatica and the Munich School of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MSRM) of the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

At this year’s automatica sprint from 22-24 June 2021, munich_i celebrates its premiere as a hybrid version and brings together leading global thought leaders and personalities from AI and robotics.

Due to uncertain planning during the pandemic and travel restrictions, we have now decided to realize the Grand Challenge 2021 in a 100% digital version!

With this, we want to offer all international academics and young professionals the opportunity to participate in the Robothon®!

NEW DATE & BENEFITS: the Robothon® will take place digitally in the period from 14 May–17 June, 2021!

As a special highlight, the Award Ceremony will take place on 22 June at noon during the Hightech Summit at automatica sprint 2021!

We put our heads together and came up with a new, exciting concept for the digital realization.


– You and your team can work remotely

– Teams will need to supply their own robot for the competition

– Each team will receive a competition task board by mail to complete the challenge

– Teams will be given 1 month from receipt of the competition scorecard and task board to develop their solution

– Team performances will be evaluated based on a recorded video submission and a live presentation with the judges

via our digital platform at the end of the working period

– The winning teams will be honored digitally by the jury and sponsors at our Award Ceremony, that will take place at

noon during the Hightech Summit at automatica sprint

WHAT’s the SAME?

– The Robothon® – The Grand Challenge 2021 will focus on the single-arm robot manipulation showcasing

skills for the disassembly and sorting of electronic waste

– The digital concept will continue to be part of munich_i during automatica sprint

– The competition is open to the public and free of charge for selected teams

– Up to 20 teams can participate (2-5 members per team)

– All roboticists (academic and young professional) are encouraged to apply

– Final demonstrations will be evaluated by our Grand Challenge Jury of renowned international thought leaders

– Prizes up to 20,000 € have already collected!

HAVEN’T SIGNED UP YET? Find more information and apply as a team until 23:59 CEST 25 April 2021

or visit our website www.robothon-grand-challenge.com to learn more.

automatica beats all records again

  • Exhibitor, visitor and area records
  • More international than ever
  • The tangible Workplace 4.0

automatica 2018 (June 19 to 22) set new records: more than 46,000 visitors (+ seven percent) and 890 exhibitors (+ seven percent). Trade Fair Managing Director Falk Senger: “automatica addresses the future topics of human-robot collaboration, digital transformation in production, and service robotics. The strong results show: The history of automation and robotics is being written here in Munich!” Mr. Senger considers the growing internationalism of the trade fair as particularly impressive: “There was a 20 percent increase of visitors other countries. This shows that the automatica is becoming increasingly important on a global level.”

Industry Representative Dr. Norbert Stein, Chairman of the Board of VDMA Robotics + Automation and Managing Director of VITRONIC GmbH, is convinced by the trade fair concept: “automatica has once again set standards. It shows the future of automation and provides knowledge for orientation at the highest level. Visitor quality and quantity: outstanding!”

Per Vegard Nerseth, Managing Director of ABB Robotics, explained the importance of automatica for his company: “automatica is the most important trade fair in the area of robotics and automation. A lot of value is put on future-oriented technology here. This is the main reason why we are here in Munich.”

Networked production is already a reality today
New names, products and concepts enriched the exhibition portfolio. The motto is: Digitalization, easy operation and greater flexibility in production with the aim of opening up new application areas.

Ralf-Michael Franke, CEO of the Factory Automation Business Unit at Siemens AG, commented on the trade fair premiere of his company: “Our digital enterprise portfolio fits ideally to the automatica motto ‘Optimize your Production’. Siemens provides end-to-end software and hardware solutions, with which the entire value chain can be integrated and digitalized. As a result, machine manufacturers and users can already use the benefits of Industry 4.0.”

Wilfried Eberhardt, Chief Marketing Officer of KUKA AG, sees a decisive advantage for the trade fair in the networked production world: “The topic IoT is part of intelligent automation. automatica is the only trade fair in the world that focuses on it. That is why it stands quite clearly for innovation. Trade visitors get a glimpse into the future here.”

Highlight: IT2Industry
With new exhibitors, specialist lectures and demonstrations, the topic “IT” plays a central role at the trade fair. Sixty-four companies exhibited from the IT environment within the framework of the IT2Industry area. Dr. Christian Schlögel, CEO of connyun GmbH, stated: “automatica 2018 has shown the technological opportunities that companies have for implementing their digital transformation. It is impressive to see the great range of industrial loT developments and which potential is still available.”

Machines speak a common language
A major growth driver for the future: the connectivity between machines. The decisive factor for this is the standardization of communication interfaces. The importance of collaboration between industry participants was demonstrated by the OPC UA Demonstrator from the VDMA Robotics + Automation Association, in which 31 companies are participating. “Interoperability is the key to differentiating our products in the networked world of Industry 4.0. OPC UA is the designated standard to let machines speak the same language in the intelligent factory of the future,” Dr. Horst Heinol-Heikkinen said, Chairman of the VDMA OPC Vision Initiative.

Collaboration—the dominant topic
Collaborative robotics is conquering the market at rapid pace and opening up almost unlimited automation possibilities. From the sensor via the cobot to a complete installation, direct interaction between man and machine is gaining increasing acceptance.

The technological developments are thanks to close collaboration between science and industry. Munich is the international meeting point for this. Prof. Oussama Khatib from Stanford University explained: “automatica, this year, opens a wide window on the emerging applications in the robotic industry. Robots with increased capabilities working in closer proximity with humans are being built for real world applications, a testimony to the fruitful collaboration and technology transfer between research and industry.”

People in the Smart Factory
The question that goes beyond the trade fair: How will people work in the future? With the special exhibition “People in the Smart Factory”, the professional association VDMA Robotics + Automation made the work world 4.0 tangible: digital assistance systems as supporters in manual assembly, augmented reality, gesture control, exoskeletons and wearables that simplify interaction between man and machine. Patrick Schwarzkopf, Managing Director of VDMA Robotics + Automation, explained: “Jobs will be more attractive and ergonomic. The respective strengths of man and machine are complementary! This opens up a great opportunity for a better workplace design. This topic sets the tone of automatica as hardly any other fair.”

What lies ahead—Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the next technological leap. automatica communicated relevant expertise with numerous talks on this topic. AI-based data analyses can give industry an enormous increase in growth. Interdisciplinary dialog is crucial here. “To use business potential successfully, automation and IT providers must collaborate much more closely together with AI experts in future,” Ralf Bucksch said, Technical Executive of Watson IoT Europe, IBM Sales & Distribution, Software Sales.

Start-ups and the promotion of young people
Twenty-three young entrepreneurs from all over the world presented themselves at the Start-up Arena. With that, automatica promotes exchanges in the industry and supports young entrepreneurs on their way to success.

With the Makeathon, Integration Islands and Escape Game formats, the trade fair addresses young people in a targeted manner. More than 120 Makeathon participants and 200 students brought a breath of fresh air to the industry. Trade fair Managing Director Mr. Senger sees an important issue in this respect: “The shortage of skilled workers is unfortunately a daily reality in industry and SMEs now. To address this problem, we will continue to strengthen our commitment in the area of promoting young, talented people.”

Top grades from visitors and exhibitors
The positive mood in the industry could be felt everywhere: Ninety-six percent of the exhibitors and 98 percent of visitors evaluate the trade fair as excellent, very good or good. automatica is the business platform for making concrete investments, and 97 percent of the visitors confirmed this.

The next automatica will take place In Munich from June 16 to 19, 2020.

Meet and greet service robots at automatica Demo Park

Interact with the world’s leading robots and see them in action at the dedicated Service Robotics Demo Park at automatica 2018. From June 19 to 22 in Hall B4, over a dozen exhibitors will be showcasing a wide range of professional service robots, in applications from detection and individual picking of objects, cleaning and transport to rehabilitation, personal assistance and public relations.

“Hey, I’m Paul, I’m a mobile service robot. Can I guide you through the park?”

Making its premiere at automatica’s Demo Park this year, Care-O-bot 4 is a mobile robot assistant that actively guides and supports humans in environments such as retail stores, hostels, offices and, as in this case, exhibition spaces.

If visitors give a positive answer to its question, Care-O-bot 4 will ask if they are interested in a particular application area and will offer to guide them there or provide alternative suggestions.

Care-O-bot 4 aka “Paul” is already guiding customers in several retail stores. Dr. Ulrich Reiser, CEO and Director of Care-O-bot 4 developer Mojin Robotics, expects the number of Care-O-bots operating in public to increase significantly in the next years: “The goal of Mojin is to support qualified personnel by taking over simple tasks, thereby increasing their productivity and satisfaction”.

Rehabilitation robots and more
Providing a different kind of assistance, in physical rehabilitation, the RIC (Robotic Interactive Care) system, a product of the company BEC, combines a lightweight KUKA iiwa robot to enable re-learning of motor skills after neurological injury. The robot’s end effector is fitted with a baby shoe, ready for a game of football. The patient grasps the shoe and plays the game on the big screen in front of them. The level of assistance can be adjusted and, says BEC Project Manager, Oussama Benfarah, “the system provides real-time tracking of biofeedback data and an interactive gaming aspect that keeps the patient motivated.”

Mobile, lightweight and focused on personal assistance applications (it can complete 30 different tasks altogether), Lio is a human-friendly collaborative mobile robot with a robotic arm, voice control, sensory skin and internet functions, developed by the Swiss company F&P Robotics. Lio can help elderly and handicapped people, support nursing staff, serve food, clear the table, clean, and more.

Another robot that’s equally at home both in a domestic and factory environment, is the “KINOVA Ultra lightweight robotic arm”, designed by French-Canadian company, Kinova. Originally intended to aid people with upper-body limitations, this is a six-axis robotic manipulator arm with a two or three-finger hand that can individually grasp different kind of objects. Whereas in assistive applications it might be used for adjusting a thermostat or brushing one’s teeth, at automatica 2018 it will be shown in an industrial application where visitors can ask the robot to pick up specific tools from a table. “Kinova’s mission is to further the human cause by empowering people to achieve the extraordinary,” says Olivier Pharand-Allard, Regional Manager for Europe. “Our robotic arm solutions are very safe, versatile and power-efficient, allowing people to be more autonomous, more efficient, and to achieve more. There is no need too small, no task too great.”

Flexible, interactive and easy to use
In today’s professional service robotics sector, complicated programming and tricky interfaces are a thing of the past; “easy-to-use”, “versatile” and “human-friendly” are the buzz words not only at this year’s automatica. These are qualities also to be found in the plug and play smart automation product of the Belgian company Pick-it. Integrating with all leading robot brands, it is a 3D camera and software to detect individual parts’ positions, even in poor visibility, when items overlap or come in varying sizes and materials.

Whether visitors are investigating pick-and-place options or want to meet Care-O-bot 4 “Paul”, the Service Robotics Demo Park should be on everyone’s priority list at automatica 2018. Never before has there been such a wealth of service robots to watch, learn about and interact with.

The exhibits will be showcased daily in shows presented by an emcee. The shows start every full hour.

Enterprise montratec presents world premiere on leading trade fair automatica: the self-propelling “shuttle carrier”

(Niedereschach/Germany) – At the leading trade fair automatica 2018, from 19 to 22 June in Munich, montratec GmbH with headquarters in Niedereschach, Germany, is showcasing five new product developments of their future-oriented automation and transport system montrac®. Product highlight is the new “shuttle carrier” – connecting rail-bound workstations without rail.

 Sven Worm, chairman of the board of montratec GmbH informs: „At our first attendance at the automatica we are directly starting with a world premiere. With the development of the “shuttle carrier” we are at the same time optimizing the applications of our intelligent automation and transport system montrac® and offering solutions for customers with extremely limited installation spaces.” Worm is convinced that the new innovation of montratec will succeed in various industrial areas.

Using the self-driving “shuttle carrier” allows for the first time to interrupt the monorail track system without interrupting the entire manufacturing/production process and enables open spaces between track-bound workstations for escape paths, transport routes, and passages for employees.

The self-propelling “shuttle carrier” acts as a connecting robot on the floor: with the aid of integrated sensors it recognizes the respective route based on stripes drawn on the floor and follows them at speeds of up to 25 meters/min.

A height-adjustable track on top of the “shuttle carrier” carries transport shuttles, either empty or with cargo of up to 50 kilogram, from one track section to another track section and gets the transport shuttles back on the monorail. Battery charging takes place during docking which ensures a permanent availability.

With the innovation of the „shuttle carrier“, the modular automation and tracking system montrac®, so far consisting of a monorail system and self-propelling transport shuttles, is extended by another active component.

The use of shuttle carriers will further reduce the low space requirements of montrac®. The already low space requirements of montrac® result from combining electrical track switches, crossings, very tight radii (of 220 millimeters), overcoming gradient angles of up to 12 degree, and integrated lifting elements. Based on smart logistic technology, the shuttles know precisely where the products need to go. The transport shuttles move with speeds of up to 55 meters/min and communicate via infrared with both the track sections and the route.

“Due to continuous power supply of all shuttles, montrac® always ensures total reliability and extreme high availability”, explains Worm and he adds: “At any time, each shuttle can manually be replaced or removed from the running system without stopping the system.”

Among the new montratec product developments to be presented at the fair are:

  • Shuttle variation including integrated robotics
  • Cleanroom Shuttle MSH4 CR,
  • New version of SmartRouter
  • New shuttle generation MSH5

Please join us at our fair stand (booth 320/hall A5) and see how our new innovations can support your company.

Company informationen about montratec GmbH

The high-tech company montratec GmbH is clearly focused on its core competencies in the industrial intralogistics and process automation. The montratec GmbH has 130 employees and company locations in Niedereschach (Headquarters Germany) and Solothurn (Switzerland). Direct sales are located in Europe, North America, and Asia. International agencies are operated by dealerships.

Make Munich – Das Maker- und Do-It-Yourself Festival

München, den 27.3. 2017. Die Make Munich ist Süddeutschlands größtes Maker- und Do It Yourself Festival, das im kommenden Mai bereits zum vierten mal in München stattfindet und sich inzwischen fest in München etabliert hat.

Am 6./7. Mai 2017 präsentieren dort die Maker ihre Erfindungen, Projekte, Technologien und die neue, inklusive und wissensteilende Maker-Innovationskultur.

An den Messeständen und in vielen inspirierenden Vorträgen wird die Maker-Bewegung in ihrer ganzen Bandbreite erlebbar sein. Aber nur „schauen“ und „zuhören“ ist nicht genug, denn es geht um’s „selber-machen“ und ausprobieren: In zahlreichen Mitmach-Workshops, werden „Nachwuchs-Makern“ alle Fertigkeiten vermittelt, um selbst kreativ und erfinderisch tätig zu werden.

Neben 150 Ausstellern werden mehr als 10.000 technikaffine, umweltbewusste, kreative und innovationsbegeisterte Besucher und Maker aus Deutschland sowie den angrenzenden Ländern Italien, Schweiz und Österreich erwartet.

Zu den Themenklassikern der Makerbewegung wie Elektronik & Internet of Things (IoT), 3D Druck, digitale Tools, Robotik, Maker-Startups und der FabLab/Makerspace Communityarea erwarten sie auf der Make Munich 2017 viele neue Themenbereiche wie Bio-Hacking & Food Maker, Maker & Design, Fashion/Wearables-Technology und Green Maker. In der neuen Quadcopter-Area kann man sich selbst als Drohnen-Pilot versuchen und in der neuen Virtual Reality (VR) + Augmented Reality (AR) Area in virtuelle Welten abtauchen.

Maker sind die kreativen Pioniere, die digitale Werkzeuge wie 3D-Drucker, Lasercutter, Microcontroller u.v.a. nutzen, um innovative Dinge zu erfinden, entwickeln und produzieren. So bleibt Produktion und Produktinnovation nicht mehr nur Unternehmen vorbehalten – das Maker-Movement steht damit für einen Demokratisierungsprozess der Produktion und diese offene, auf Teilen und Gemeinschaft ausgelegte Innovationskultur der Maker, hat das Potential unsere Gesellschaft und Wirtschaft – ähnlich wie es das Internet in den letzten 25 Jahren bereits getan hat – radikal zu verändern. Auf der Make Munich 2017 wird dies sichtbar und unmittelbar erlebbar werden.
Als Festival „von Makern für Maker“ wird die Organisation der Make Munich zum erheblichen Teil aus der Münchener Maker-Community heraus getragen.

Seit 2015 gibt jedoch die neu gegründete Make Germany GmbH der Make Munich als Veranstalter ihren festen geschäftlichen und organisatorischen Rahmen. Die Make Germany GmbH ist ein Social Enterprise, das sich die Förderung und Vernetzung der Maker-Szene auf die Fahnen geschrieben hat.


Make Munich Kurzinfo:

Was: Süddeutschlands größtes Maker- und Do It Yourself Festival

Wann: Sa/So 6.+7. Mai 2017
Offen: 10-18 Uhr

Wo: Zenithhalle, Lilienthallee 29, 80939 München

Eintrittspreise: Kinder bis 12J. kostenlos, Jugendliche 6,-, Erwachsene 15,-, Familien 29,-