IRTG Kick-off @ 8th New Zealand Science Circle Event
As a kick-off to the IRTG, Prof. Cheng and Prof. Röhrle were invited by the New Zealand Ambassador to Germany, Rodney Harris, to present the 8th New Zealand Science Circle talk at the University of Stuttgart and in Berlin. The talk
was entitled “An Engineering Approach to Understand the Human Body: Collaborative Auckland-Stuttgart Research Initiatives in Bioengineering”. The events were publicly announced by the embassy with special invitations to New Zealanders living in Germany. Among the laudations were Prof Schwarz (President of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation), V. Rieke (Head of International Cooperations BMBF) Dr I. Krüßmann (DFG), and Rodney Harris, the New Zealand Ambassador to Germany.
IRTG Soft Tissue Robotics @ 40th Anniversary of the NZ-German Science and Technology Cooperation (STC) Agreement
German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier paid a state visit to New Zealand from November 5 to 7, 2017 – the first visit by a Federal President since 2001, to celebrate 40 years of thriving science cooperation between New Zealand and Germany, i. e. the 40th Anniversary of the NZ-German Science and Technology Cooperation (STC) Agreement. These celebrations included the collaborations between the University of Auckland and the University of Stuttgart and its IRTG Soft Tissue Robotics. While visitingthe University of Auckland’s Bioengineering Institute, Prof. Cheng, Prof. Hunter and doctoral researcher H. Saini explained the research and qualification programme around the Soft Tissue Robotics Training Group to Frank-Walter Steinmeier as well as further collaborations and activities between the University of Auckland and the University of Stuttgart.
Closely Related Project to IRTG featured in BBC
The BBC prominently reports on Prof. MacDonald (in the yellow jacket in Fıgure besides this text) observing an autonomous kiwifruit picking robot) and his research. Robots in horticulture are part of a multiinstitutional 18M NZD research grant on “Decision Automation for Orchards and Vineyards”. This also demonstrates the need for more basic research and the need for further 4.5 years of IRTG Soft Tissue Robotics funding.