Switzerland hosts some of the most renowned robotics laboratories worldwide. Nearly 50% of the top robotics researchers from Europe are at Swiss Universities, and they publish the world’s highest number of publications per capita at major robotics conferences and journals.
Research in Swiss institutions cover many areas of robotics, from mobile robots to robotic surgery, from industrial robots to robots for agriculture and construction, from logistics to medical applications, including fundamental research on intelligent machines.
During its 12 years of activity, NCCR Robotics focused in particular on three main research strands:
- The Wearable Robotics Grand Challenge developed a new generation of wearable robotic systems that will help tackle a major societal and clinical challenge: the dramatic increase of people affected by neurological disorders, as a consequence of the continuing increase of life expectancy brought about by modern medicine.
- The Rescue Robotics Grand Challenge investigated and developed highly innovative robotic technologies for Search-And-Rescue (SAR) operations for emergency response.
- The Educational Robotics Grand Challenge developed robots that have already reached thousands of schools, resulting in new institutional initiatives both at EPFL and across Switzerland, and with the potential to radically change the way in which robots are used in schools.
Although they mostly worked independently of each other, the three Grand Challenges had several overlaps and collaborations, for example on soft robotics, control and sensors.