I left Switzerland in 2012 after completing my Master’s degree in Computational Science at ETH Zurich. One year later Roboy, Switzerland’s most famous robot was created, and I joined a research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). I adopted Roboy, the anthropomimetic brain child of University of Zurich Professor, Rolf Pfeifer and over the years, I’ve nurtured it and made it my own. With an amazing team, I built two new robots and then we felt it was time to “expand back.”
With the support of Mindfire, we founded the Zurich Roboy student team to bring the Roboy project back to Switzerland. We thought we’d arrive back in country with a bang. We planned to unveil Roboy 3.0 at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain at the end of February earlier this year. We planned to deploy the Roboy Hug Challenge in Zurich in March to prove that Zurich could be more welcoming to robots than both Shanghai (more than 750 hugs in just one day) and Barcelona (with almost 600 hugs) combined. Well, here we are in the midst of social distancing and hugging robots still has to become a thing again.