The following paper is a “Q&A interview” conducted by Joanne Pransky of Industrial Robot Journal as a method to impart the combined technological, business and personal experience of a prominent, robotic industry engineer-turned successful innovator and leader, regarding the challenges of bringing technological discoveries to fruition. This paper aims to discuss these issues.
The interviewee is Martin Haegele, a renowned expert in industrial and service robot applications, technologies and markets. He is Division Director “Intelligent Automation and Clean Manufacturing” and Head of the department “Robot and Assistive Systems” at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (Fraunhofer IPA). In this interview, Haegele details some of the robotics projects he led and provides his outlook on the European robotics industry.
Haegele received a Dipl.-Ing. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Stuttgart in 1989 and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from George Washington University, Washington DC in 1989. Haegele has led the Robot Systems Department at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart, Germany since 1993, and is a member of the Fraunhofer IPA Board.
Inspired by the book Robotics in Service written by Joseph Engelberger in 1989, Haegele spearheaded ground-breaking applications in the service robot industry. He led a German study on the market potentials and challenges of service robots. He was the project leader and supervisor of numerous service robot developments including a fuel-refilling robot resulting in a fully operational gas station and several generations of mobile robots developed for museums, shopping centers and home applications. Haegele coordinated many publicly funded research projects to develop robot technologies for industrial and service applications. He was coordinator of two large-scale European initiatives (SMErobot and SMErobotics) for the creation of technologies and a new family of robots suitable for small and medium-sized enterprises. He has published more than 80 papers and book chapters and holds four patents. He is a 2007 recipient of the prestigious Joseph Engelberger Award. Furthermore, Haegele is active in the International Federation of Robotics and the euRobotics association.
Pransky, J. (2018), "The Pransky interview – Martin Haegele, Head of Department Robotics and Assistive Systems, Fraunhofer IPA", Industrial Robot, Vol. 45 No. 3, pp. 307-310. https://doi.org/10.1108/IR-04-2018-0060
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