Red Dot Award: Product Design


Excellently automated: robots on the rise

Whether in the industry, for entertainment or as a household help – the robotics industry is booming. The independent machines do not only act as autonomous lawn mowers and vacuum cleaners. They also help in the operating room, defuse bombs, assemble cars and dive into the depth of the world’s oceans. Seeing three-dimensionally, hearing, feeling and walking are only some of the abilities that robots have nowadays. In the Red Dot Award: Product Design, the manufacturers from the robotics industry regularly proof that they are laying the foundations for the future. This year, they convinced the Red Dot Jury with sophisticated software and high-precision hardware again.

Baggage handling system “FLEET”: smart flexibility

The baggage handling system “FLEET”, manufactured by Vanderlande and designed by Idenova from the Netherlands, was conceived for handling baggage at airports. It utilises intelligent automated vehicles with a high degree of autonomy. Thereby, fixed baggage conveyors are replaced by highly advanced automated guided vehicle technology. Fascinating about it is the approach towards self-organisation: each individual vehicle in the fleet carries a single bag and determines its optimal route through the airport by itself. A vehicle may also be given priority for particular luggage to arrive on time.

“As an extremely efficient baggage handling system, FLEET is able to simplify and speed up the baggage delivery process in modern airports. Comprised of intelligent automated robot vehicles, this system offers fascinating solutions to meet complex requirements. It is reliable, highly flexible and allows almost any adaptation to changing situations. It assists passengers in reclaiming their luggage safely and fast,” says the Red Dot Jury about the robot system which has been awarded a Red Dot: Best of the Best, the highest distinction of the competition.

Freedom and self-confidence: rehabilitation robot “XZ-Droid”

The rehabilitation robot “XZ-Droid” integrates the functions of an intelligent wheelchair, a lift aid and a rehabilitation assistance device. Thereby, it enables people with disabilities to live a self-determined and independent life. The robot is applicable for many types of medical problems and can be adapted accordingly. It can be boarded from the back and use the belts to connect with the user’s waist, legs and knees. The swing force of the upper limb arm can be used to drive the body of the user to an upright standing position. Depending on the user’s wish, the position can be changed between standing and sitting. The control board allows intuitive manoeuvring of the robot’s speed and direction, as well as its independent movements. 

The Red Dot Jury awarded the robot, which is manufactured by Shanghai Bangbang Robotics and designed by Jianguo Li as well as Zhefu Zhang, a Red Dot: Best of the Best. “The XZ-Droid was consciously modelled to closely follow the human anatomy and cater for the special needs of people with disabilities. Based on a sophisticated concept in terms of ergonomics, the device demonstrates the abilities of modern robot technology. The self-explanatory operation greatly enhances the quality of life of its users by enhancing their self-confidence. The sensitive nature of the device’s functionality supports user mobility and promotes rehabilitation,” explains the expert panel.

Robot “Equashield Pro”: perfectly dosed

The robot “Equashield Pro”, manufactured by Equashield LLC and designed by Gonen Daskal, Marino Kriheli and Eric Shem-Tov, serves the compounding of drugs. As this process can easily lead to spills, cytotoxic drips as well as aerosols and vapour release, the actions of the robot are based on a proprietary “Closed System Transfer Device” technology. This means that Equashield Pro incorporates a closed drug transfer system and follows a multi-station compounding approach, much like a factory manufacturing line, to minimse both the motion and the time it takes to prepare a dose. The system is capable of processing a broad variety of finished product dosage forms. Thereby, it effectively protects against hazardous drug exposure, prevents medication errors and optimises the overall throughput. It offers a large storage capacity with eight simultaneous workstations and features over 14 inspection cameras.

“As a highly innovative automated solution, Equashield Pro provides fast throughput in the safe and effective administration of medications in hospitals. This highly sophisticated and well-thought-out robot system guarantees a maximum of precision. It decisively safeguards against errors and mistakes. This promotes trust and reduces stress in daily hospital work routines. Compact and straightforward in terms of its design, Equashield Pro easily integrates into any environment,” says the jury about the robot. It was awarded a Red Dot: Best of the Best.

Closing date for applications for the Red Dot Award: Product Design

These three examples imposingly show that robots simplify our everyday life and contribute significantly to its quality. How the industry will develop and which robots will accompany us in the future nevertheless remains to be seen. The results of the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2019 will give first hints. Until 1 February, designers and manufacturers from all over the world have the possibility to hand in their innovations in the competition. Apart from the category “Robotics”, they can choose between 47 other product groups for the registration, ranging from furniture to tableware to tools.