automatica Keynote

Leading and pushing boundaries: the ISR robotics conference 2020 - Online

The 52nd international robotics conference "International Symposium on Robotics" (ISR) will once again take place in conjunction with automatica. Due to the global situation surrounding COVID-19, the renowned symposium will be held as an online event this year. More than 100 presentations from the industrial and business community will provide insights into the latest state-of-the-art technology and current trend topics relating to robotics in the age of digitaliza-tion and artificial intelligence. The ISR 2020 takes places at Wednesday, December 9, 2020 and Thursday, December 10, 2020.

The “International Symposium on Robotics” (ISR) is not only one of the oldest, but also the world's leading robotics conference - and at the same time a close partner of automatica. The English-language conference is organized by the VDMA Robotics + Automation and the Information Technology Society in the VDE (ITG) and offers exciting insights into the latest technologies for participants from the industrial and research community.

The topics? Everything that keeps the industry moving.

The main topics of the ISR are components and technologies, robots in new markets and ap-plications, industrial / service robots and the influence of robots on the future world of work. The spectrum of the ISR will also be expanded this year with the field of artificial intelligence. Furthermore, the newly created and freely accessible business track focuses on special topics from industry, such as mobile robotics and new markets (STÄUBLI TEC-SYSTEMS GMBH ROBOTICS). The program is rounded off with a panel discussion about artificial intelligence in robotics.

The following keynote speakers have already been confirmed:

  • Carl Doeksen - 3M
  • Carme Torras - Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial (CSIC-UPC)
  • Alin Albu-Schäffer - German Aerospace Center (DLR)
  • Anna Valente - SUPSI Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana
  • Andrew A. Goldenberg - University of Toronto

Highest honors: Awards at ISR

One of the highlights of the robotics conference is the presentation of the IERA Awards 2020.


ISR Key Facts

Date: Wednesday, December 9 and Thursday, December 10, 2020
Location: Online
Language: English
Access: Prior registration at required. Registration fee applies. (Business track freely accessible)

  • Sponsor: IFR (International Federation of Robotics)
  • Licensee 2020: VDMA Robotics + Automation
  • Organization: Information Technology Society of VDE (ITG)

More information:

2018 review

More than 100 presentations at ISR 2018 addressed major research and development challenges, while specific topics such as components and technologies, robots in new markets and applications, industrial/service robots, and the workplace of the future were also discussed in great detail.


  • First-rate Keynotes by Prof. Oussama Khatib (Stanford University, USA), Prof. Sami Haddadin (Technical University of Munich), Prof. Torsten Kröger (KIT Karlsruhe), Prof. Jianwei Zhang (University of Hamburg), Dr. Michael Zürn (Daimler AG) und Dr. Sebastian Trimpe (Max Planck Institute, Stuttgart)
  • Joseph F. Engelberger Awards ceremony: This award is considered the most prestigious industry award worldwide and honors value-added ideas and world-class products in the robotics domain. The winners in 2018:
    Esben Østergaard, co-founder and former CTO of Universal Robots, whose invention of the collaborating robotic arm has triggered a paradigm shift in robotics.
    Gudrun Litzenberger, Head of the IFR Statistics Department, for her advancement of ‘World Robotics Statistics’.
  • The IERA Special Session (Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation) with the IERA Awards ceremony. The winners in 2018:
    Perception Robotics (USA) for the “Industrial Self-Cleaning Gecko Gripper”, a gripper solution for industrial automation based on the Gecko technology developed by NASA.
    KUKA Germany for “LBR Med”, a collaborative robotic assistant for healthcare, research and new fields of application.
    Lely International (Netherlands) for “Discovery 120 Collector”, a stable cleaning robot that cleans solid floors in dairy farming environments.


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