European Robotics Forum (ERF) 2022 in Rotterdam: the goals and novelties of this edition

The European Robotics Forum (ERF), an event promoted by euRobotics, in its 13th edition, took place over three days in Rotterdam, 27-30 June, 2022, co-organised by the University of Twente.

The ERF is one of the most important events in Europe and beyond for the robotics and Artificial Intelligence community. It has always been the meeting point for engineers, academics, entrepreneurs, investors, end-users and decision-makers in the field of robotics from all over Europe. This year, with some novelties.

The theme of ERF 2022 was sustainability and the Organizing Committee put a lot of emphasis on this issue, caring for the catering, and advising participants how participant could move around by public transport, bicycle or by foot, and avoiding waste of paper, energy and water.

Recommendations to participants concerned also protection from COVID, and the venue chosen for ERF 2022, the Rotterdam Ahoy, provided ample space, circular air-conditioning systems, energy-efficient LED lighting and waste water separation. Other sustainability tips were related to the options to reach Rotterdam mainly by public transport and the selection of accommodation so that it was close to the event venue, so that one could comfortably arrive on foot or by bicycle.

On 28 June, the first day, the matchmaking event open to participants, hosted by Enterprise Europe Network at the Convention center of the Rotterdam Ahoy, took place. This matchmaking event allowed the public to meet exhibitors, academics, research centers and was prepared by a platform where visitors, delegations and exhibitors had the opportunity to introduce themselves and book 20-minute meetings: a unique chance to make international contacts and explore new markets.

Similarly, on 27th, a dedicated meeting session was organized for sponsors and industrial exhibitors for hangouts, presentations, updates.

The ERF was full of surprises, including the Charity Run dedicated to the IMC Weekend School (a school in Amsterdam that accommodates children and students from marginalized backgrounds) during which sports participants ran a 5 km with former Dutch Olympic runner Patrick van Luijk in the lead, on a course through the Zuiderpark, one of Rotterdam’s largest city parks.

A visit to the Lely farm in Schipluiden offered the participants the opportunity to see the Lely Astronaut milking robot in action, which allows freedom of movement for the animals, which go to the milking parlour independently.

 

“An important aspect of this edition,” Stefano Stramigioli, General Chair of ERF 2022 and Professor of Advanced Robotics at the University of TWENTE, told us, “was the richness of the exhibition, in which many companies participated with their robots, and the hackathon, sponsored by Lely, a company in the agricultural sector, world leader in milking robots.    In the hackathon excellent teams of students from four universities in the Netherlands worked for three consecutive days on real cases presented by the sponsoring companies and institutes.   We imagined a special communication for this hackathon, so as to allow a continuous flow of updates: it took place in a central area of the Rotterdam Ahoy, the different teams were dressed in their colours and took turns presenting the results, either partial or final, of their work, so as to keep the sponsors and the public updated and involved.  Another new feature of this edition: to the interactive workshop programme we added an Academic Track with stimulating presentations on relevant topics and poster sessions with a focus on the latest research and products. The Academic Track lectures were always sold out in all sessions.”

 

The ERF 2022 website: https://erf2022.eu/

Find posts and many pictures here: https://m.facebook.com/pg/euRobotics/posts/

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