automatica Keynote

Leading and pushing boundaries: the ISR robotics conference

The 52nd “International Symposium on Robotics” (ISR) will once again take place as a part of automatica. 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 digitalization and artificial intelligence.

The “International Symposium on Robotics” (ISR) is not only one of the oldest but also the world’s leading robotics conference – and an important partner of the leading exhibition for smart automation and robotics. Its 52nd installment on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 and Thursday, December 10, 2020 is one of the highlights of the supporting program at automatica 2020.

This conference, held in English and organized by VDMA Robotics + Automation and the Information Technology Society of VDE (ITG), will provide exciting insights into the latest technology for participants from across the industrial and research community.

The topics? Everything that keeps the industry moving.

The range of topics covered is as broad as it is deep. It includes components and technologies, robots in new markets and applications, industrial/service robots as well as artificial intelligence in robotics. In 2020, there will be two parallel conference tracks for the first time. The new business track offers an opportunity for international guest speakers from the industry to present their latest products and developments.

The following keynote speakers have already been confirmed:

  • Carl Doeksen – 3M
  • Carme Torras - Institut de Robòtica i Informàtica Industrial (CSIC-UPC)
  • Alin Albu-Schäffer - Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)
  • Anna Valente - SUPSI Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana
  • Andrew A. Goldenberg - University of Toronto

Highest honors: Awards at ISR

The grand gala banquet on December 9, 2020 on the occasion of the IERA Awards ceremony and the announcement of nominees for the Joseph F. Engelberger Awards – one of the world’s most important industry awards – are two of the robotics conference’s highlights.

ISR Key Facts

Date: Wednesday, December 9 and Thursday, December 10, 2020
Location: Press Center East
Language: English
Access: Prior registration required. Registration fee applies.

  • 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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