KUKA is a global automation corporation with sales of around 3.5 billion euro and around 14,200 employees. As leading global supplier of intelligent automation solutions KUKA offers its customers in the automotive, electronics, consumer goods, metalworking, logistics/e-commerce, healthcare and service robotics industries everything they need from a single source: from components and cells to fully automated systems. The KUKA Group is headquartered in Augsburg (DE). It grew out of the company Keller und Knappich (KUKA), which was founded in 1898. KUKA nowadays holds key positions in euRobotics AISBL which represents the European robotics community in SPARC, a public-private partnership with the EC.
KUKA has a track record of successful co-operative research projects, both on a European and national level. Many of those projects deal with aspects of human-robot interaction in technology development. In the past 3 years, KUKA has grown an expertise in ethical and psycho-social impacts of robotics in addition to its renowned reputation for technologically advanced and innovative robots. KUKA’s lightweight robot arm LBR iiwa is the result of a technology transfer from the German Space Agency (DLR) and has received multiple innovation awards. Because of its technical design features (e.g., the integrated torque sensors) this type of robot is predestined for tasks where robots and human beings share the same workspace. The LBR iiwa was the first safe and intelligent robot built for the direct human-robot interaction. With this combination of excellence in technology development on the one hand and the experience with ELS issues on the other hand, KUKA is the perfect partner for this research project.