Posted on 07/31/2019

“Can you do my laundry?” The BSH robotic challenge has launched

Service robots for professional and personal use are advancing rapidly. Accordingly, the household of the future will certainly be digital and probably at least partly automated, since robotics are becoming increasingly smarter. BSH is joining this trend and taking part in a robotics development platform in a funding program for digital innovation (*PAiCE) set up by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

Searching for innovative ideas via a co-creation platform
Together with project partners, BSH is working on a platform to support cross-company innovation projects. The platform RoboPORT enables development projects on a digital basis, not bound by location, and with the participation of a wide range of interested parties.

A Wonderland for any robotics fan
Projects will be published on the platform as challenges, which the community can then work on. The developers refer to this as crowd engineering and co-creation. As one of the first projects, BSH has published a challenge on laundry care on the RoboPORT platform.

“Nothing is more annoying than having to take the laundry out of the machine and hanging it up,” says Katharina Hertkorn from Corporate Technology and Innovation at BSH. Studies show that this step is the most unpopular in the entire laundry care process. What might a service robot look like that takes the laundry out of the washing machine, positions it so that it can be picked up properly, and then hangs it up itself? “We want to tackle this task using the crowd engineering approach of RoboPORT,” she adds.

The challenge is open to anyone ‒ whether a robotics or software expert, student or simply a technology enthusiast. Anyone who wants to drive innovation in the digital transformation process can apply and contribute.

How to proceed after registration
In a virtual hackathon, an event for collaborate software and hardware development, BSH will form project teams that can let their creativity run freely. To develop prototypes as part of the BSH Laundry Care Challenge, the teams will have access to various machines and gadgets at the BSH robotics lab in Munich. At the end of the project, these ideas should be turned into prototypes.

For more information and to find out how to apply to take part in the BSH Laundry Care Challenge, visit the RoboPORT platform.

*The PAiCE funding program is a measure set up by the German government to further strengthen the country’s leading position as a high-quality production location and private business as a provider of state-of-the-art technologies. With around 50 million euros in funding, the program has been providing key impetus since 2016 in the digital transformation of German companies. The focus is on forward-looking technologies in the areas of product engineering, logistics, service robotics, 3D applications and industrial communication, as well as links between them. A total of 16 consortia from science and industry have qualified for sponsorship. BSH is taking part together with the Fraunhofer Institutes for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) and Industrial Engineering (IAO), The Innovation Center of the Technical University of Munich (unternehmerTUM), software developer innosabi, the University of Stuttgart, and technology company General Interfaces GmbH.