MUNICH, Germany-The Robotics Industries Association (RIA, Ann Arbor, MI) presented Engelberger Robotics Awards to four leaders in the field as part of 37th International Symposium on Robotics, which place during the recent AUTOMATICA trade fair. The awards-named in honor of Joseph F. Engelberger, a pioneer in the field-honor significant achievements in the areas of leadership, application, education and technology development.
Kevin Ostby, vice president of regional operations for Fanuc Robotics America Inc. (Rochester Hills, MI), received the leadership award in recognition of a multiple achievements. These include the first robotics installation at General Motors' Buick Motor Division back in the 1980s, and the expansion of Fanuc Robotics Industrial Division into nonautomotive markets.
Dr. Hans Josef Haepp, head of production and materials technology at Mercedes-Benz (Sindelfingen, Germany) recieved the application award in recognition of his many contributions to the field, including the KIR project, a German expression for "Cooperating Industrial Robots." The implementation of KIR has brought significant advances to the automotive industry by eliminating dead time during the transfer and handling of a workpiece. The system enables one robot to work on a component as a slave to the handling robot. Another advantage is the ability to turn the work piece up to 360 degrees while a second robot is working on it.
Dr. Peter Kopacek, head of the Department of Intelligent Handling and Robotics at the Vienna University of Technology (Vienna, Austria) received the education award in recognition of a quarter century of teaching in the field. Among other accomplishments, Kopacek has introduced a number of new robot disciplines to the Austrian educational curriculum, including assembly, disassembly, medical robots and robots in entertainment.
Jean-Paul Boillot, chairman, CEO and founder of Servo Robot Inc. (Saint-Bruno, Canada), received the technology development award. Boillot holds several patents and has made numerous contributions to the evolution of intelligent welding and robotic control technology through the development of laser vision cameras, sensors and process control units.
"This year's award recipients have made significant contributions toward the increased use of robotics worldwide," says RIA President, Trevor Jones. "Their innovations and perseverance have led to the use of robots in new applications, new educational curriculum, and have made it possible for companies faced with a global economy to gain a competitive advantage. RIA is pleased to recognize this distinguished group of honorees."