Challenge accepted – Challenge taken. Six amazing teams exceeded the expectations of the sponsors of the “Plant Service Robot Challenge” by far.




Together with INVITE, BASF, Bayer, Boehringer, Merck and Wacker have developed a shared vision over the last few years to deploy mobile robots in our production sites. INVITE coordinated the open-innovation-challenge "Plant Service Robot" with finals at ACHEMA 2022 in Hall 11.0 Booth E27 22.8.2022 to 26.8.2022.

The consortium created the challenge in order to become able to send robots into our chemical factories and sites at any time to collect sensor data, observe equipment and also perform simple tasks such as taking samples. With this intention the companies decided to launch this Robotics Challenge almost a year ago and ask the technology companies and universities of our world whose technical solution will fulfill our vision best.


The search is on for an autonomous service robot named Andy that is capable of performing 24/7 recurring tasks, such as safety tours in chemical and pharmaceutical plants. Particular challenges include safely navigating industrial facilities with obstacles, such as stairs, or accurately collecting data through image recognition of displays, as well as simple interactions. The background of the idea is thus to support employees, increase safety and improve the availability of production facilities.


What came out of it? You will can watch the videos at the challenge web-site and  see for yourself, like the more than thousand visitors during Achema 2020.

One of the highlights within the course was the challenge to operate a classical sample station designed for human operation provided by Within the videos you can see several mobile robots – even the one running on legs – which fully completed this challenge. As intended by the sponsors the detailed evaluation of the performance allowed to compare the precision of arms mounted on a wheel based platform versus the capabilities of a robotics arm mounted on a leg-based platform like the ones from and



The summary of the jury is: Challenge accepted - Challenge Taken! The teams have exceeded our expectations in precision, reliability and speed, so we are sure to be able to buy the solutions we need in a few years or even months from now.

For all members of the organizing team and participating companies it was an incredible competition, which exceeded our expectation by far. We have learned a lot and we take with us that our vision will become reality very soon.