So last week, I was in Karlsruhe, Germany for the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), one of the Big Two in terms of robotics conferences. (The other one is IROS.)
I was a coauthor on a paper, and one of my labmates and I participated in a robotics competition involving DARwIn-OP, a fun little humanoid. We also won the competition! Prizes included another DARwIn, a LabView license, and a Webots license. It was a really good night that night. Robotis held a celebration banquet of sorts at one of the local places to eat, and then we also went to the conference banquet for dessert.
Oh, and there were also interesting talks and lots of other robots, and and and let’s just say I was pretty glad that I went to ICRA.
There are a few things I probably won’t ever get about the country, and that’s okay. Such as:
- No air conditioning in southern Germany. Seriously, it was pretty hellish in the building where we had some of the networking events.
- The toilets. The…toilets.
- I still don’t fully understand some of the tram maps.
- Why is the plastic in Coke bottles there different, and why does every bottle look scuffed up?
Of course, there are also awesome things:
- Did I mention beer?
One of the best things of all was the trip to Triberg, in the Schwarzwald (Black Forest). The main purpose of the trip there was to obtain a cuckoo clock for my mother, since the Black Forest is where cuckoo clocks come from. Side trips included the waterfall, and just wandering around and looking.
The place is absolutely beautiful this time of year. Probably one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. Man, so awesome.
So yeah, southern Germany just before summer, I highly recommend it.