automatica sprint and munich_i successfully premiered together from June 22 to 24, 2021: There was consistently positive and sometimes enthusiastic participant feedback on the new digital format in the automatica portfolio and the globally unique munich_i Hightech-Summit on robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). Over 3,500 participants from the robotics and automation industry took the opportunity to exchange ideas and network online at automatica sprint—and to digitally immerse themselves in the world of AI and robotics at munich_i.
Falk Senger, Managing Director Messe München, draws a positive conclusion after three successful days of the online events: “After the long time without events due to the pandemic, our goal for automatica sprint was to finally offer the industry a meeting point for exchange and knowledge transfer again. With the participation of almost 90 exhibitors and more than 3,500 attendees, the format was well received. In addition, we were able to create important added value for the industry with munich_i. Now we look forward to welcoming our exhibitors and visitors face to face again—here in Munich in June next year.”
automatica sprint and munich_i in numbers
More than 3,500 participants took advantage of the digital offerings of automatica sprint and munich_i on the three days of this event. The supporting program was particularly attractive: The high average attendance of 110 participants per presentation format reflects the quality of the program. Each participant attended an average of six presentation formats. The munich_i Hightech-Summit was most attended with nearly 1,400 participants over the three days of the event. The interest in the exhibitors’ brand rooms was also encouragingly positive. Many attendees took advantage of this opportunity to network with business partners and exchange messages online. As a result, more than 2,800 contacts with lively exchange were established during the three days of the event.
Meeting point for exchange and knowledge transfer
automatica sprint is an addition to the portfolio of automatica, the leading exhibition for smart automation and robotics, to include a digital industry forum. munich_i, the new platform for artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, also forms part of this format.
The focus of automatica sprint was on the solutions and innovations of almost 90 international exhibitors, an interactive program with more than 30 company sessions as well as live demonstrations and expert panel discussions. The extensive digital supporting program thus shed light on current trends and developments in the automation industry. Experts from industry leaders and key players in the robotics and automation sector provided exclusive insights, shared field reports and answered pressing questions of the industry for three days—e.g. how to industrialize AI and robotics or how to advance connectivity in automation.
Special highlight: the virtual VDMA R+A OPC UA Demonstrator visualizing the advantages of digital twins in production, thus breaking new ground in explaining complex technologies in the digital realm. The live demos were consistently very well-attended. Participants were given insights into the digital likeness of a physical assembly machine, could virtually immerse themselves and ask the experts questions in real time.
Patrick Schwarzkopf, Managing Director of VDMA Robotics + Automation, emphasizes: “automatica sprint takes the value proposition of the leading exhibition automatica—its undisputed leadership in the fields of robotics and automation—to the digital realm. It was once again an excellent event in terms of both quality and coverage.”
Wilfried Eberhardt, Chief Marketing Officer of KUKA AG, Chairman of VDMA Robotics + Automation, agrees: “automatica sprint was an experiment that we consider a great success. In a nutshell: The great commitment of everyone involved has paid off. The program was excellent, the sessions were consistently well-attended and by the second day KUKA had already seen several hundreds of interested visitors. The implementation was professional and technically flawless—largely thanks to the intuitive platform. Of course, a digital event does not compare to an in-person trade fair, but we made the best of the pandemic situation and learned a lot for the future. Now we will focus entirely on automatica 2022!”
Successful premiere of munich_i
With munich_i, a globally unique hightech platform for AI and robotics celebrated its premiere at automatica sprint.
World-renowned research and industry representatives shed light on future interaction of humans and artificial intelligence in the areas of work, health and mobility at the Hightech-Summit—the very heart of munich_i—on June 22 under the slogan “intelligence empowering tomorrow”. The list of speakers included the international who’s who of this innovative industry.
Bavarian Minister President Dr. Markus Söder, patron of munich_i, emphasized the importance of interplay between AI and robotics. “They are among the most exciting and dynamic technologies of the future. AI will be a strong and powerful ally in overcoming the challenges of the future.” Markus Söder is certain: “munich_i, being a globally unique platform for AI and robotics, is a strong signal from Bavaria to the global AI community.”
From the point of view of the two munich_i directors, Prof. Dr. Sami Haddadin and Prof. Dr. Alena Buyx, the new hightech platform is an ideal interface between science and business. Therefore, munich_i provides a valuable contribution to the ethically and socially responsible integration of AI technology into social life despite major challenges.
Prof. Dr. Sami Haddadin, Director Munich School of Robotics and Machine Intelligence (MSRM) explains: “I am delighted with the successful launch of munich_i. The Hightech-Summit brought together experts from across the world of robotics and AI. This has allowed us to build a bridge between science and the industry that also covers the ethical and social aspects. With munich_i, we are creating a platform for the future with lasting global visibility. It is an entirely new and truly unique format.”
The internationally recognized ethics expert Prof. Dr. Alena Buyx agrees: “Since it has become apparent that artificial intelligence will permeate our lives, that it will be with us in our daily lives—in the hospital, while shopping, in the car—we have all come to understand that ethical and social considerations must not be subordinate factors in the development of robotics applications. They must be part of the development process. If this is implemented, such products and applications will not only benefit individual consumers, but society as a whole. They can help us flourish and live a good life. It was great to see so many examples of this at munich_i.”
The new expert summit successfully bridged the gap between automatica exhibitors and the scientific community. A CEO Roundtable topped off the munich_i high-tech summit. Top managers from leading robot manufacturers, including FANUC, KUKA, Universal Robots and Yaskawa, discussed with Prof. Dr. Sami Haddadin the scientific findings presented at the summit the day before and evaluated them from the perspective of the robotics industry.
In addition to the one-day Hightech-Summit, munich_i also included the virtual AI.Society exhibition where the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and start-ups presented around 30 selected robotics and AI applications and offered live demonstrations. Another part of munich_i: digital versions of the Robothon® developer competition, with the award ceremony as part of the Hightech-Summit, and the robot driver’s license.
The next automatica will take place in Munich in exactly one year from June 21 to 24, 2022.