The “ Engelberger Robotics Awards ” are bestowed by the US-American Robotic Industries Association (RIA). Esben Østergaard received the award as co-founder and CTO of the Danish company, Universal Robots, which he founded in 2005 together with two other scientists. Universal Robots introduced the world’s first economically viable robot that can work alongside people without a protective housing already in 2008. Today, with a market share of 58%, the company is leading on the market for collaborative robots, Cobots for short, and achieved sales growth of 72% last year.
Gudrun Litzenberger was awarded the prize for her services as secretary-general of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). The IFR is the international association of the robotics industry and the robotics research institutes, as well as the international umbrella organization of all national robotics associations. Gudrun Litzenberger started her career at the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), where she set up a department for the statistical analysis of data in the field of robotics. After the Statistics Division of the IFR was founded in 2003, she was appointed as Head of World Robotics Statistics by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and has prepared the Annual World Robotics Study since 2005.