The 13 th Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Robotics and Automation Award (IERA) was presented to the Relay butler robot. Made by Savioke, an American company, the little robot completes deliveries all on its own, for example in hotels, hospitals or logistics centers. Thanks to artificial intelligence and sensor technology, Relay can move safely through public spaces and navigate around people and obstacles as necessary.
From left to right: Satoshi Tadokoro, IEEE-RAS President; Arturo Baroncelli, past IFR President; Steve Cousins, CEO Savioke; Erwin Prassler, IEEE-RAS Vice President (Credit: IFR)
“The IERA Award is one of the most important distinctions in the world of robotics today,” said Joe Gemma, President of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). “This year's award winner, Relay, perfectly exemplifies how research and development can successfully work hand in hand with industry.” The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) and the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE/RAS) jointly sponsor the annual IERA award.
“This year once again, we received a large number of truly exceptional applications,” said Erwin Prassler, Vice President of the IEEE-RAS. “In the end, the jury was unanimous in its decision. This award is a testament to the excellent work by California-based Savioke led by its CEO, Steve Cousins. Steve Cousins and Savioke have developed the core technology in professional service robotics to a readiness level which enables a 24/7 operation in public, human inhabited environments.”
“Relay is the first fully autonomous delivery robot worldwide that is able to navigate safely through human-occupied spaces,” said Steve Cousins, CEO of Savioke. “Up until now, similar technologies have been limited to fixed routes, or deployed only in closely defined spaces. Our highest aim is always to create robots that can help people. The interaction should be as friendly and pleasant as possible.”