Press release

Visions of future robotics and AI

May 6, 2022

  • munich_i Hightech Summit on second day of automatica
  • Focus on robotics and AI development
  • Industry meets research

The munich_i Hightech Summit is the supporting program highlight on the second day of automatica, which will take place in Munich from June 21 to 24. Under the leadership of munich_i Directors Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sami Haddadin and Prof. Alena Buyx, and under the auspices of Bavarian Minister President Dr. Markus Söder, leading international technology drivers along with pioneers from science and industry will present their innovations, findings, and megatrends regarding the future of robotics and artificial intelligence.

Which technologies will shape the future, how will digital transformation and AI impact emerging business models, and which strategies must be implemented today to avoid being left behind tomorrow? And what ethical aspects need to be considered?

These are the key questions for company leaders and those responsible for production, research and development, technology, and digital transformation. That’s because it is they who need reliable and roadmap-oriented guidance as to which technologies will be relevant in the future and which industry standards will prevail. In other words, which fields and topics will shape business models and need to be considered in corporate strategies today?

Visionaries taking the stage—in four sessions

Under the theme of ‘intelligence empowering tomorrow’, four sessions with four experts each will shed light on the central aspects of interaction between human and artificial intelligence, and responsible technological change. The topics range from warehouse automation and deep learning approaches for smart robots to automated, AI-supported driving and ‘soft robotics’.

Session 1: Next Generation Robots

What will future robot generations look like, what tasks will they perform, and how will they differ from the robots we know today? Prof. Cecilia Laschi from the National University of Singapore will present the trend topic of soft robots featuring designs inspired by nature.

Session 2: Networking Intelligence

Future robots will be integrated into smart and self-learning systems—in industrial applications, but also in medical engineering and pharmaceutical research. Scientists such as Dr. Anna Bauer-Mehren, Head of Data Science at Roche Innovation Center Munich, will present examples and explain new communication and connectivity technology.

Session 3: Industrial Perception and Autonomy

The full potential of robotics cannot be exploited without smart environmental perception. Dr.-Ing. Gunter Kegel, Managing Director of Pepperl & Fuchs, explains the future requirements for suitable sensor technology. Prof. Matthew Mason, Chief Scientist at Berkshire Grey, the leading U.S. technology company for AI in retail, takes a look at the future of robot-based automation in intralogistics. And Prof. Alfred Rizzi, Chief Scientist at Boston Dynamics, will present the latest developments in autonomous, highly dynamic walking robots—a part of the robotics market in which the company has achieved an unrivalled position.

Session 4: Learning, Understanding, and Interaction

Do robots need to understand their environment to work efficiently? Melonee Wise, Vice President of Robotic Automation at Zebra Technologies, will explore this question. Her audience will surely be excited about this one: According to the Business Insider online magazine, Melonee Wise is one of the eight CEOs whose activities will have the greatest impact on the way we work. She is currently one of six winners of the Engelberger Robotics Award 2022, the world's most prestigious robotics honor.

In an additional presentation, AI pioneer Prof. Wolfram Burgard, TU Nuremberg, will show how robots become ‘smarter’ with the help of deep learning approaches. Wolfram Burgard is considered an international autonomous driving expert. He was Vice President for Automated Driving Technology and Machine Learning at the Toyota Research Institute in Los Altos, CA, USA, from 2019 to 2021.

Closing presentation and AI.Society special show

The closing outline presentation will be given by Prof. Seth Hutchinson from the Georgia Institute of Technology who is the President of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, and a pioneer of vision-based robot control; Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sami Haddadin, Director of the Munich Institute of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MIRMI), and holder of the Chair for Robotics and System Intelligence at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), will wrap up the event and summarize the results. A joint tour of the munich_i special show and AI.Society dialog platform at automatica provides additional practical insights into future trends in robotics and artificial intelligence.

For experts by experts

This globally unique summit is organized and curated by the MIRMI. The institute combines the expertise of more than 60 TUM professors of various disciplines to conduct research into machine intelligence. Prof. Haddadin explains: “Artificial intelligence and robotics are on the verge of a technological quantum leap. munich_i has succeeded in involving international leaders from research, technology, and industry who put people at the center of their work, thus initiating sustainable change that will affect all our lives in the future.”

From the perspective of the trade fair organizers, the Hightech Summit 2022 offers real added value to visiting professionals who expect deep insights into the future of robotics and artificial intelligence—beyond the next generation of products. While it is unusual for an industrial trade fair to offer such a sophisticated summit as part of its supporting program, it is a perfect fit for a leading international exhibition such as automatica.

Tickets for munich_i are available at: Ticket availability and pricing are subject to change as the event approaches—special discounts are available until May 9 and May 25, 2022, respectively.