The German president has made a visit to the RICAIP research centre. He was shown a number of robotic experiments and became acquainted with the main actors of Industry 4.0 in the Czech Republic


On Friday morning, as part of his state visit to the Czech Republic, German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his wife visited the RICAIP International Research Centre at the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics at the Czech Technical University in Prague (CIIRC CTU). The centre is the result of long-term Czech-German scientific cooperation in the field of Industry 4.0. President Steinmeier met representatives of the academic and industrial sectors who participate in the research and development of modern technologies for industry. He got acquainted with the latest experiments focused on robotics and artificial intelligence.

The Research and Innovation Centre on Advanced Industrial Production – RICAIP – connects industrial testbeds in the Czech Republic, specifically at CIIRC CTU and CEITEC BUT in Brno, with the testbed of the German research institutions DFKI and ZeMA in Saarbrücken. As a result, the experimental workplace Testbed for Industry 4.0 at CIIRC CTU has been equipped with the latest technologies for smart factories from European and national funds during the last year and a half.

„The opportunity to welcome the president at CTU is a great honor for us and a confirmation of the importance of our workplaces for the development of international cooperation in the field of Industry 4.0,“ said Rector of CTU Vojtěch Petráček.

„The visit of the German president today is symbolic for us. Five years ago, almost to the day, in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, we signed the agreement on scientific cooperation with Prof. Wolfgang Wahlster, former director of DFKI,“ pointed out Prof. Vladimír Mařík, scientific director of CIIRC CTU. „I am pleased that, after five years of hard work, we can present, in the same place, concrete results of our RICAIP Joint Centre, which transcend the borders of our two countries and demonstrate strong cooperation in Industry 4.0 at a truly international level.“

The German president saw a total of six robotic experiments in the testbed, some of which were prepared in cooperation with industrial companies. He was welcomed, among others, by Prof. Radimír Vrba from CEITEC BUT and by Prof. Michael Valášek, on behalf of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (FME CTU). FME participates in building the testbed and cooperates in connecting education with industrial applications.

“Both large multinational companies and Czech start-ups are involved in joint projects,“ said Ondřej Velek, director of CIIRC ČVUT. „Together with the companies, we are developing innovative solutions that can help transform Czech industry towards higher value-added production, especially in small and medium-size enterprises.”

The meeting with the German president was attended by partners of the National Centre for Industry 4.0, namely Eduard Palíšek, CEO of Siemens CR, Michael Oeljeklaus, Member of the Board of Directors of Škoda Auto, and José Perdomo Lorenzo, CEO of T-Mobile Czech Republic and Slovak Telekom.

„The demonstrations that we prepared for the president’s visit cover a wide range of research of our teams at CIIRC CTU and within RICAIP,“ said Tilman Becker, RICAIP director. „For example, with the DFKI team, we remotely connected the operator in Prague with the robots in the testbed in Saarbrücken to verify the feasibility of the principles of distributed production as well as remote human-robot cooperation.“

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