French-German Robtics Dialogue in Munich

04/12/2012 : 09:36

Group picture with robot. © TUM/Heddergott

Dr. Hannemor Keidel (TUM Vice President) and the Consul Général M. Emmanuel Cohet © TUM/Heddergott

Prof. Gordon Cheng (left) during his talk. © TUM/Heddergott

A number of experts from German and French robotics met at the Résidence de France in Munich for a "Dialogue franco-allemand atour de la robotique".

Germany and France have common goals in politics, economics and in academia. Both nations cooperate closely in research. One example is service robotics, a research area with great potential for industry and welfare. The embassy of the Republic of France in Berlin, the Consulate General in Munich, and the French-Bavarian University Centre at TUM wanted to stimulate joint research activities and therefore invited – together with the Cluster of Excellence CoTeSys - representatives of science and industry to a “Dialogue franco-allemand atour de la robotique” in the Résidence de France on April 11, 2012.

The current state of research in robotics in France, Germany and Japan was the main topic of the four experts’ talks: Prof. Michael Beetz of CoTeSys and Head of the Intelligent Autonomous Systems Group at TUM, talked about the Munich region as leading in robotics. He stressed the fact that a key to future success is “that robots with the envisioned service to humans have to be cognitive, for example they have to know what they are doing”.

Bruno Maisonnier, founder and CEO of Aldebaran Robotics talked about “France and Germany: Duo-Poles in Robotics”. In his opinion France and Germany should use the chance to become the leader of robotics worldwide, contrary to the development of the World Wide Web which was developed in Europe, but its potential of creating jobs and industries.was realized somewhere else. In his vision the robotic market is just at the beginning but “as soon as people want to have robots there will be millions around”, Maisonnier pointed out.

Prof. Abderrahmane Kheddar, Directeur CNRS-AIST, a joint Japanese-French Robotics Laboratory, argued that this bi-national research cooperation should become a tri-national cooperation between France-Japan and Germany. His laboratory is a joint laboratory established between a French public organization, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, and the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. The researchers from both countries are closely collaborating to pursue the means of increasing robot's functional autonomy, using a humanoid robot as a main platform.
Prof. Gordon Cheng, CoTeSys and Chair of the Institute for Cognitive Systems at TUM elaborated on his goal to create cognitive scientific systems. He also pointed out that engineering; society and science all play a major role in the development of cognitive systems. The purchase of some Nao robots, developed by the company Aldebaran, at the Institute of Cognitive Systems at TUM was considered a nice occasion for such evening to discuss ways to further cooperate. To underline the advanced performance of Naos, ,two of the robots later introduced themselves in German and French and demonstrated some of their skills.

At the reception the Consul Général M. Emmanuel Cohet, and Dr. Hannemor Keidel, TUM vice president for Diversity and Talent Management, expressed the hope for many fruitful cooperations between France and Germany in the field of robotics, triggering lively discussions among the guests from industry and science from both countries.