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Company April 2024

HERMES AWARD 2024: The 2D Grasping Kit is setting new benchmarks in terms of flexible and intelligent automation

How can a flexible, efficient, and future-proof production be established under the aspect of a shortage of skilled workers and resource conservation? The solution lies in automation. The 2D Grasping Kit reliably handles repetitive, monotonous handling tasks and is easy to operate even without expert know-how. The intelligent solution also convinced the jury of the HERMES AWARD 2024, which honored the innovative 2D Grasping Kit with the coveted technology prize at the Hannover Messe.

HERMES Award The HERMES AWARD 2024 was presented at the opening ceremony of the Hannover Messe. Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Germany’s Minister of Education and Research, presented the award in the presence of Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Kristina I. Schunk and Timo Gessmann.

(From left to right): Dr. Jochen Köckler (CEO, Deutsche Messe), Timo Gessmann (CTO, SCHUNK), Kristina I. Schunk (CEO, SCHUNK), Bettina Stark-Watzinger, (Germany’s Minister of Education and Research), Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Hanselka (President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Chairman of the Jury of the HERMES AWARD)

“The path to automation is still challenging for many companies. This is the reason why small and medium-sized companies in particular, are not yet using their full potential and this is exactly where we start,“ emphasizes Kristina I. Schunk , CEO of SCHUNK. “With innovative, highly flexible, and easy-to-use automation and digitalization modules such as the 2D Grasping Kit the shortage of skilled workers can be closed in a process-reliable way, but productivity can also be increased. At the same time, they also create a healthy and attractive working environment in which people and machines from a symbiosis.“

Application image – EGU/2D Grasping-Kit The HERMES AWARD-winning 2D Grasping Kit facilitates the entry into the AI-supported handling processes for unsorted parts.

Simply by using AI

With the 2D Grasping Kit companies can implement intelligent Pick & Place processes for randomly arranged parts with little effort. The kit consists of a camera with a lens, an industrial PC, an AI software as well as an application-specific gripper. All components are perfectly coordinated and can be combined with any robot and any higher-level controller. Thanks to the intuitive user interface, the AI software is taught in a few simple steps and requires no prior knowledge of programming or image processing. Once done, the AI trains itself and recognizes the components based on characteristic features such as shape, size, and color. The AI compensates for variations caused by changing light, color, or background conditions. What is unique, is that the system automatically calculates the gripping points for the gripper used together with the object detection and transmits parameters such as rotation angle and opening width to the robot control. Monotonous, recurring sorting or logistics tasks can thus be reliably and easily automated.

Sustainable and future-proof

“We want to counteract the shortage of skilled workers and increase the productivity potential as well as resource efficiency. In times when healthy and sustainable production environments are becoming increasingly important, our 2D Grasping Kit offers a solution that not only increases efficiency, but also improves working conditions,” explains Gessmann. Automation solutions such as the 2D Grasping Kit play a central role here. “Winning the HERMES AWARD encourages and motivates us to continue working on solutions with which companies can easily and effectively exploit the potential of automation.”


The HERMES AWARD is the international technology award of HANNOVER MESSE. It is awarded annually as part of the trade show and honors outstandings products and innovative solutions with a particularly high degree of technological innovation.

Further information about the 2D Grasping-Kit