RIA presents Engelberger Robotics Awards

July 11, 2006

The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) announced the recipients of the 2006 Engelberger Robotics Awards, presented at the 37th International Symposium on Robotics during AUTOMATICA in Munich, Germany.

Named after Joseph F. Engelberger, the "father of robotics," the awards honor significant achievements in the areas of leadership, application, education, and technology development.

Kevin Ostby, vice president of regional operations at FANUC Robotics America Inc., Rochester Hills, Mich., received the leadership award for his 30 years of service to the robotics industry. Otsby served as an RIA board member and was named as president of the board from 1999 to 2001. He currently serves as a U.S. national coordinator and is the chairman of the IFR Robot Suppliers Group. He has been both board member and chairman of the Automation Technologies Council.

Dr. Hans Josef Haepp, head of production and materials technology, Mercedes-Benz, Sindelfingen, Germany, received the application award for his guidance that led to the introduction of many innovations in the automation and robotics section over the span of his career. His most significant contribution was the KIR project, a German expression for "cooperating industrial robots." The system enables one robot to work on a component as a slave to the handling robot. It also turns the workpiece up to 360 degrees while a second robot is working on it.

Dr. Peter Kopacek, head of the Department of Intelligent Handling and Robotics-IHRT, Vienna, Austria, received the education award and is the country's first Engelberger award recipient. He has conducted more than 30 robotics-related courses and seminars and continues to lecture and conduct research at the University of Linz in Austria and at Vienna University of Technology. He has published textbooks and articles on robotics and has developed courses in mobile, intelligent, and cooperative robots. He is founder and president of Intelligent Systems Solutions and has three honorary doctorate degrees.

Jean-Paul Boillot, chairman and CEO of Servo-Robot Inc., St.-Bruno, Quebec, Canada, received the technology development award. He holds several patents in the fields of laser sensors and robotic welding automation. He also has contributed to the evolution of intelligent welding and robotic control technology through the development of laser vision cameras, sensors, process control units, and related products. He is a member of RIA and the Automated Imaging Association and president of PRECARN, a Canadian industrial not-for-profit consortium.