DLR designer Tilo Wüsthoff together with the spin-off Roboception received the renowned 2019 Red Dot Award for Product Design for the design of the rc_visard. The award was presented on July 8, 2019 at the Red Dot Gala in Essen’s opera house.
As a designer at DLR’s Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, Wüsthoff is primarily responsible for the design and therefore the conception of robots – from humanoid robots like Rollin’ Justin and the walking robot Toro to the hand-arm system DAVID to the four-legged walking robot Bert. In 2009, Tilo Wüsthoff and DLR won the iF product design award in the Advanced Studies category for the design of the DLR MIRO, a versatile robot arm for medical applications. In its research and the development of robotic systems, the institute pursues an approach that focuses on people. For the various scenarios in which different robots are to be used, it is always a question of how and where they can support and relieve people and also on where enhancing human capabilities seems reasonable. “This is also a key aspect in design,” says Wüsthoff. “When I start to think about the design of a particular system or product, I first ask myself what are the situations in which the object can offer real value to people and be integrated into their daily lives.”
The designer also works for Roboception, a spin-off of the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, and designed the rc_visard, a stereo sensor that enables robots to both make 3D measurements and position themselves in a space. “At the institute, we are very pleased that our designer is also successfully implementing ideas beyond our research platforms for products that can be used in industry,” says Professor Alin Albu-Schäffer, director of the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics. “Our robots, whose designs are usually by Tilo Wüsthoff, are mostly one-of-a-kind. The fact that the design of an industrial product will now be seen in many different contexts and was also awarded a prize is particularly pleasing to us, “says Albu-Schäffer. The rc_visard is also used at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, for example in the Factory of the Future in the field of mobile manipulation. There it is mounted to the Omnirob and helps the worker to find the right materials for tasks at the worktable.
The DLR spin-off Roboception is very happy about the award. “From the beginning it was important to us that our sensors are not only functionally optimized, but also visually appealing,” says Michael Suppa, CEO of Roboception. After all, they would usually be positioned prominently on customers’ robots. The award is also of particular importance for DLR designer Tilo Wüsthoff. “After the iF DESIGN AWARD last year, receiving the Red Dot Award is another milestone for me personally,” says the designer. In his work the design, the form, always supports the function, resulting in a meaningful interplay. For him, the design award confirms his approach.
The award has been presented since the 1950s, since 2000 as the Red Dot Award: Product Design. This year, it’s been awarded to 80 designs out of more than 5,500 international submissions. After the award ceremony at the Aalto Theater in Essen, Designers’ Night was held at the Red Dot Design Museum, where award winners, jury members and international invited guests had the opportunity to view the design of many excellent products and, above all, to try their functionality.