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A high-caliber jury chaired by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Hanselka, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, selected Schunk's 2D Grasping Kit project for this year's award. This application kit comprises a camera with lens, an industrial PC, AI software and an application-specific gripper. The innovative nature of the project lies in the generic, AI-based modeling of component variants and the transfer to a smaller training data set, which cuts learning times for recognition. Even under changing light, color, or background conditions, the intuitive user interface enables reliable picking and handling of randomly arranged and non-positioned parts from an infeed conveyor belt, tray or preparation table. This allows repetitive sorting or logistics tasks to be automated with little outlay.

"Automation is the key to the future for supplying people and industry in our country. Only with sustainable innovations, especially in the spheres of production and logistics, can we successfully master the economic and social challenges of tomorrow," says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Hanselka. "Besides ease of use, the robustness of the development for many of the upcoming automation solutions was a particularly decisive factor behind our decision to select the 2D Grasping Kit for this award. On behalf of the entire jury, I am delighted to congratulate Schunk on winning the HERMES AWARD 2024!"


This year, the coveted HERMES Startup AWARD goes to Archigas, a young company based in Rüsselsheim, Germany. The award-winning product is a compact, moisture-resistant sensor for fast, precise, and reliable measurement of hydrogen content. The sensor principle is based on an advanced thermal conductivity measurement function on a microchip, and was developed in cooperation with the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences. In developing the sensor, Archigas is making a valuable contribution toward enabling the safe production, storage, and use of hydrogen.

"Hydrogen technologies are playing a central role in the transformation of industry toward sustainability, and are a core element of the energy system of the future. So as to fully exploit their potential, it is absolutely crucial to promptly turn innovative ideas into actual applications. Start-ups such as Archigas are playing a key role to this end," says Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Hanselka. "The groundbreaking technology developed by Archigas stands out for its ultra-compact dimensions, robust design, rapid measuring capability, and the wide range of potential applications for which it can be used. Archigas perfectly exemplifies the innovation-driven companies that are paving the way toward realization of the hydrogen economy. On behalf of the entire jury, I am delighted to congratulate the company on this richly deserved success."

Broadcast of the opening ceremony