The innovation prize was awarded for the second time since 2006 for innovations in the field of robotic technology. The two Blackbird founders were awarded first prize in the area of "innovations in the kinematics, control and drive technology for robotic systems" for their contribution to intuitive robot programming and automated path optimisation in robot applications.
The programming system for industrial robots presented by Wolfgang Vogl and Ulrich Munzert is based on the idea of initially describing a programming task using an interactive 3D projection system. This system visualises weld seams directly on the actual part and allows for precise manipulation and input using a 3D pen. In this way the user can define a welding task easily and effectively. An optimal robot path is calculated on the basis of this task description using a specially developed optimisation software package. The system is already used in industrial settings. It provides a 50% reduction of the programming time and a 30% reduction of the cycle time in remote controlled laser beam welding applications.