Which is why this year, the big players in robotics will once again be using the world’s biggest industrial technology trade fair to present the benefits of their innovations and their central role in Industry 4.0 solutions to a quality trade audience. Among them will be big names like Fanuc, KUKA, Comau, Kawasaki, Universal Robots, Stäubli, Mitsubishi, Rethink Robotics and Denso, not to mention startups like Franka Emika. In all, more than 60 robotics companies, systems integrators and providers of gripper technology will be there, showcasing their products and solutions amid an array of supporting events that will include the awards ceremony for the coveted ROBOTICS AWARD.
"HANNOVER MESSE features robotics solutions for an extremely wide range of industrial applications," commented Arno Reich, the director in charge of HANNOVER MESSE's automation-themed trade shows. "It presents a comprehensive range of systems and solutions, from industrial robots, integrated systems and industrial image processing technologies to mobile robots and automated guided vehicles," he added.
HANNOVER MESSE 2017 will be devoting a sizeable chunk of its robotics limelight to the current state of the art in human-robot collaboration. This is an area of robotics that has come a long way in recent years – to the point where its competitiveness-enhancing power is now within the reach of SMEs. A case in point is Franka, a lightweight cobot developed by a German high-tech startup of the same name – Franka Emika GmbH. Not only does Franka boast dexterity and the touch-sensitivity of a human arm, it is also extremely simple to program and operate. Promoted as “the first robot that builds itself,” it has a price tag of just 10,000 euros, making it an affordable investment for the SME segment.
HANNOVER MESSE's central platform for robot manufacturers, system integrators and providers of industrial image processing solutions is the Robotics, Automation & Vision Application Park in Hall 17, which will feature mobile robots and autonomous systems live in action. The exhibitors here include Incubed IT, Creform, Götting, WFT and WMV Robotics. The "Vision" section of this showcase is dedicated to industrial image processing, a technology that facilitates safe human-machine interaction and process efficiency in Industry 4.0 and smart factory applications. The companies exhibiting in this section include Asentics, Cognex, Stemmer Imaging and ISRA Vision.
One of the major annual highlights for the robotics industry is the presentation of the ROBOTICS AWARD for excellence in applied robotics at HANNOVER MESSE. Applications for the award close on 17 February. The ROBOTICS AWARD honors technological innovations that make a special contribution to robotics-based solutions in the area of industrial automation or mobile robots and autonomous systems. Submission for the Award are restricted to new solutions or significant advancements which will be on public display for the first time. They must also either be market-ready or already in industrial use. The prize-giving ceremony for the ROBOTICS AWARD will be held during HANNOVER MESSE – on Tuesday, 25 April. The official patron of the Award this year is Olaf Lies, the Minister of Economic Affairs, Employment and Transport of the German state of Lower Saxony.