Sustainability & Robotics Series

About the Series

Sustainability has become a critical challenge in Society and the field of AI and Robotics will not remain unaffected. From environmental to social or economic impacts, roboticists, entrepreneurs, researchers and public authorities are increasingly confronted with the topic. What is Sustainability? Where does AI and Robotics stand in that regard? What can organizations do to integrate Sustainability in their projects? What are the existing tools, frameworks at our disposal today? Are there initiatives and lessons learnt in other fields that could help AI and Robotics? Several reports, publications and events have shown a growing interest in the community to be more proactive. But where to start? How to avoid greenwashing? All these questions (among others) will be addressed in our 2023 online series of 5 webinars.

This series is open to all  actors of AI and Robotics: from industry, academia and beyond. Its goal is to raise the community’s awareness of Sustainability, spark discussions, exchange experiences and provide free introductory training with concrete use-cases. The webinar series will aim at having a balanced representation of academic and private organizations, sharing their knowledge. During each session, participants will be encouraged to share their experiences, needs, questions, and practical suggestions. Our goal? Identifying key priority actions to reinforce Sustainability in Robotics and AI.

Partner organizations

This event is co-organized by a consortium of researchers, industrial stakeholders and experts:

Webinar 1: Getting Started

Date: March 7, 2023

In this first webinar, Dr. Fiachra O’Brolchain (Professor, Dublin City University) presented current environmental challenges, applied philosophical questions in robotics, and some moral frameworks useful of sustainability & robotics. A panel of speakers also discussed how AI and Robotics can help to address the challenges of sustainability; why the AI and Robotics community should consider sustainability as an integrated part of their work; and the challenges for academia and industry in AI and Robotics to balance the positive and negative contributions towards sustainability.

Watch Dr O’Brolchain’s keynote and the panel discussion here.


Webinar 2: Sustainability Explained

Date: April 26,  2023

After exploring why the AI and Robotics community actively needs to work towards sustainability in our first webinar, this second webinar focused on what sustainability is about. Experts, who have worked or researched extensively in the field of sustainability, will share their knowledge with us.

Watch these inspiring presentations of:

  • Patrick Courtney, DroneMatLabs/ King’s College London
  • Simon Weihofen, Viega Group
  • Katrien Vandael UCLL

..and a panel discussion where we discussed various issues around “sustainability”.

Webinar 3: Environment

Date: May 24,  2023

In this webinar, we explored the different ways of how to reduce environmental impacts, and got inspired by approaches used outside the AI and robotics community. We also discussed current cases and methods of reducing environmental impact of robot manufacturing. Our colleagues also explained  upcoming regulatory requirements and talked about how they might impact robotics and AI.

Watch these inspiring presentations of:

    • Seppe Terryn, VUB
    • Paula Preuss, TU Berlin
    • Damien Salle, Tecnalia
    • Robin Barkhausen, Fraunhofer ISI

Webinar 4: Society

More information soon!

Webinar 5: Economics

More information soon!

Past Events

IROS 2021 Workshop “The Roles of Robotics in Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals

IROS 2022 Workshop on Sustainability in Robotics

A conference on the environmental impact of Robotics and how to address it