PAL Robotics at the European Robotics Forum 2024

PAL Robotics at the European Robotics Forum 2024

Discovering Robotics Innovations at PAL Robotics booth

This March, Rimini, Italy, became the meeting point for robotics enthusiasts and professionals, at the European Robotics Forum (ERF) 2024. As a gold sponsor, we were happy to showcase our dedication to robotics innovation and collaboration. Our participation varied from an interactive booth, full of our latest developments, to leading insightful workshops and contributing as invited speakers. Let’s have a quick overview of the three-day event:

Our booth at ERF 2024 was filled with interactive activities, inviting attendees to explore our advanced research platforms, such as TIAGo OMNI++, a sophisticated mobile manipulator designed for precision and advanced interaction. TIAGo Pro, a bimanual robot, that offers versatile navigation and precision in complex environments. ARI, a social robot with advanced interaction capabilities, ideal for smart city and healthcare applications. And ARan, our robust autonomous mobile robot, built to perform in industrial and challenging environments. It was a space dedicated to discussions about the potential of robotics in research and possible collaborations to bring the use of robots in daily life one step closer.

Workshops at ERF 2024 led by PAL Robotics

We had the opportunity to take the lead in organizing workshops that touched on crucial topics in robotics, such as, advancements in robot functionalities to the transformative potential of AI and robotics in healthcare. The workshops not only highlighted current achievements but also set the stage for future innovations, emphasizing the collaborative effort required to address the challenges and opportunities within the robotics sector.

Advancements in Humanoid and Legged Robots Functionalities

Our CEO Francesco Ferro led a ground-breaking workshop at the European Robotics Forum 2024, focusing on the evolution of humanoid and legged robots from innovative prototypes to market-ready products. This session explored their transformative potential across various aspects of human life and labour. The workshop discussed their impact on every day life and jobs, analysing the importance of integrating these advanced platforms into our activities.

The workshop illustrated how decades of research have advanced the mechatronics and cognitive functions of humanoid robots, leading to the introduction of functioning and well-designed models. Innovations in parallel actuation have opened new doors for humanoid bipedal systems, marking the rise of a sector poised for substantial growth. Robots like the bipedal humanoid Kangaroo and the research platform TALOS exemplify the industry’s progress.

A highlight was the roundtable discussion, which brought together speakers from research, development, and industry to discuss present and future applications of humanoid robots. This dialogue emphasised the robots’ potential to enhance human capacity, safely operate in hazardous environments, and alleviate heavy labour, anticipating a future where robots and humans coexist and work together. The discussion tackled relevant questions, such as the critical role of European technology in the global race for humanoid robotics innovation and how to ensure European sovereignty in this field. Talks explored leveraging advancements in mechatronics, cognitive abilities and engineering to unlock new functionalities in humanoid and legged robots, assessing their impact across various industries. In the image below, the speakers:

The speakers at the "Advancements in Humanoid and Legged Robots Functionalities" workshop organised by PAL Robotics at ERF 2024 with the company's CEO Francesco Ferro, then Enrico Mingo from INRIA, Daniele Pucci from ITT, Fabio Puglia from Oversonic Robotics, Andrej Gams from Jozef Stefan Institute, and Christian Ott from TU Wien.

Here’s the available presentation:

The panels also delved into the most promising directions for further development, highlighting the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in driving forward the innovation agenda. Ethical and societal considerations were brought to the forefront, particularly regarding the integration of these robtos into everyday life, posing essential questions about the future relationship between humans and robots. Other considerations added depth to the discourse, challenging participants to consider the future of AI and control approaches in the development of legged robots vs quadrupeds, and the overarching potential to push the boundaries of what is achievable with humanoid and legged platforms.

This workshop underscored the collaborative push towards innovations that promise to redefine our interaction with robots, making it a cornerstone session of ERF 2024. In fact, it not only showcased the potential of humanoid and legged robots to enhance human capacity and ensure safety in hazardous environments but also anticipated a future where robots and human coexist and work side by side to achieve common goals.

PAL Robotics' CEO Francesco Ferro presenting his workshop at the European Robotics Forum (ERF) 2024
Francesco Ferro presenting at the workshop

Revolutionizing Healthcare with Robotics and AI

Organized by Gizem Bozdemir, this workshop highlighted the transformative impact of robotics and AI in healthcare, showcasing how our robots, ARI and TIAGo, are enhancing patient care and support for healthcare professionals.

PAL Robotics' Project Manager Gizem Bozdemir delivering a workshop on the EU project CoreSense

Mobile Manipulators: Shaping the Future

Co-organized by Javier Alonso Mora and Marco Rosa, this panel dove into the critical role of mobile manipulators across sectors, discussing their challenges and opportunities in improving efficiency and innovation.

AI and Robotics in Agrifood

Sarah Terreri’s workshop brought to light the significant role of robotics in addressing the challenges of food production and environmental sustainability within the agrifood sector, emphasizing innovation and growth potentials.

Contributing Insights as Invited Speakers

We also took a role as invited speakers in various sessions, further sharing our thoughts with the robotics community. Our contributions spanned topics from “Designing Aware Robots” to “Cultivating Efficiency in Agriculture” and “The Bright & Dark Side of AI in Robotics,” among others. These engagements allowed us to share our expertise, discuss emerging trends, and explore the ethical considerations surrounding the advancement of robotics and AI.

Collaborative projects we are partners in

During the event we had the chance to meet up with project partners and disseminate some of the EU projects we are taking part in. Here are some of the projects featured during the event: 

  • ARISE: Advances industrial Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) in Europe through agile and human-centric technologies.
  • CoreSense: Develops a cognitive architecture enhancing autonomy in robots.
  • METATOOL: Aims to model synthetic awareness for better adaptation and tool invention in robotics.
  • MANOLO: Focuses on creating trustworthy and efficient AI for Cloud-Edge computing applications.
  • PRIMI: Enhances robot interaction capabilities through mental imagery techniques.
  • PILLAR-Robots: Introduces a new generation of autonomous robots for varied applications.

We would like to say a big thank you firstly to everyone who took their time to visit us at our booth to meet our team and robots, as well as everyone who came to our workshops. We would also like to thank to organisers of workshops, that invited us to share our thought and mostly to the organisers for a well-developed and a memorable experience.

Let’s keep the conversation going

If you are interested in our work or exploring collaboration opportunities, please feel free to reach out to us. Let’s continue the conversation and push the boundaries of robotics together.

If you’re searching for new project partners, don’t hesitate to ask us more – we are passionate about the value of collaborative projects for innovation. We are always looking for new opportunities to collaborate, so contact us today to find out more!

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