The challenges of putting rescue robotics research into practice

November 13th,
Oskar von Stryk

Technische Universität Darmstadt & German Rescue Robotics Center


While new robotic systems are being introduced almost daily for applications in a wide range of business and service domains, few of the different rescue robotic systems studied in research have yet reached the daily practice of emergency responders.

In this talk, I will present my assessment of the particular challenges and obstacles along the way. To overcome some of them, we have founded the German Rescue Robot Center DRZ. I will talk about our approaches and experiences so far with the DRZ, but also with the startup Energy Robotics, which emerged from our rescue robotics team. Finally, I will summarize the most important findings and suggestions for further development.


Prof. Oskar von Stryk is Full Professor at the Department of Computer Science of the Technical University Darmstadt. He is a founding board member and acting Deputy Chairman of the German Rescue Robotics Center. He also has been founding trustee of the Association for the Understanding of Artificial Intelligence as well as a long-standing trustee and vice-president of the International RoboCup Federation. He has published more than 200 international peer-reviewed publications and co-founded the robotics startups Bionic Robotics, Energy Robotics and Freemotion Systems. He was the key driving force in establishing the innovative interdisciplinary study programs on Autonomous Systems and Robotics as well as Computational Engineering at TU Darmstadt. Prof. von Stryk is an expert reviewer for national and international research projects.

His research on cooperating autonomous mobile robots, biologically inspired robots and numerical optimization and control methods has been funded in more than 30 projects by national, European and US research agencies and companies. The research results have received several awards, e.g., a first prize of the European Robotics Technology Transfer Award, the Hessian Cooperation Award, the Louis Vuitton Best Humanoid Award and numerous international competitions for autonomous mobile robots (e.g., ARGOS Challenge, ENRICH, RoboCup, World Robot Summit). His Rescue Robotics Team Hector is well known for its performance, research and open source contributions. Academic Influence ranks him among the 25 most influential computer scientists worldwide in 2010 to 2020.

Current Status and Challenges of R&D for Decommissioning of
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

November 14th,
Mr. Naoaki Okuzumi

Senior Manager of Planning and Administration Department at the
International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning(IRID)


The Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11, 2011, which triggered an unprecedented disaster of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (NPS). Resulting loss of the reactor core cooling of the Fukushima Daiichi NPS Units 1-3 caused the three melt downs. After the nuclear disaster, the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning (IRID) was established as a Technology Research Association in August 2013. IRID is composed of 19 organizations (membership organizations): national R&D institutes (JAEA, etc.), plant manufacturers (Toshiba, Hitachi-GE, MHI, etc.) and electric utilities (TEPCO, etc.).IRID has been engaged in R&D of technologies necessary for the Fukushima Daiichi NPS decommissioning. One of the most challenging work is to retrieve molten and solidified fuel debris which should be undertaken by fully remote operation in extremely high radiation environments. Furthermore, status of the inside the primary containment vessel (PCV) and the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) is still uncertain, therefore, it is necessary to develop robots that can be used in the unknown environment. In this talk, I will present robots developed for the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi NPS.


International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning (IRID)

June 1956             Born in Tokyo
Mar.1979              Graduated from Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, the University of Tokyo
Apr.1979               Join Toshiba Corporation
1979-2000            Toshiba Nuclear Energy DivisionSystem Engineer for BWR Nuclear System      
                            New BWR Planning for Japan, China, Vietnam etc,.
(1990.12-1992.1)   Liaison Manager in GE Nuclear Energy at San Jose CA U.S.A.)
2000-2016             Toshiba Head Quarter
                             General Manager of Technology Management Division
                             General Manager of Innovation Promotion Division
                             General Manager of Corporate Communications Division
June2016               Retire Toshiba Corporation
July2016-               Join International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning (IRID)
                             Senior Manager Planning and Administration Department