Denise Ebenhoech is naturally curious.

That’s not unique in the automation community, but the Regional Head of Advanced Robotic Applications at KUKA Robotics has explored plenty of different avenues of robotics in her career. Right now, though, she’s focused in on one project: Mobile robots.

“I find it really exciting. If you look at my CV, this is the first time I’ve stayed with the same topic for now over five years,” she said. “I think it’s that there is still so much to learn: What works best? Where else can I put it into? As I told you, one of the really fun parts is to see all these different facilities and production processes and environments, be it food production or whatever, that’s really exciting but also when you explain your technology to your potential customers and see the engineers brain working … I really enjoy it.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile robotics have proved especially useful in some of those settings, with Ebenhoech noting that clients who work in labs are no longer needing to be near each other and risk the spread of the virus thanks to the ability to rely on mobile robots to perform some of their lab work.

“They can do their human, highly sophisticated brainwork, but they don’t have to go to the lab all the time any more,” she said. “So, that helps a lot in the specific application. If you think about what these mobiles do, they connect workstations which are often people. Having a robot connecting these different points instead of humans helps with social distancing.”

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