Berkeley Meets Bosch in Robotics Challenge

Berkeley MBA students identified aiding the visually impaired and elder care as potential business uses for Bosch's cutting-edge technology at the Bosch Robotics Business Model Challenge April 28 in Palo Alto.

Four interdisciplinary Berkeley teams spent two months conducting research and analysis before the competition, organized by the Haas European Business Club and sponsored by the German multinational Bosch Research at its Robert Bosch Research and Technology Center in Palo Alto.

Philipp Ebert and Itamar Orgad, both MBA 12, were part of the interdisciplinary Team Visionary, which won the $3,000 top prize with its idea for a mobile robot to aid the visually impaired. The team also included Erin Summers, a PhD candidate in electrical engineering and computer science; Stephen Welch, a master's of science candidate in environmental engineering; and Ming Zhi, a master's of science candidate in mechanical engineering.

Other finalist teams proposed business applications for robotics that included fruit picking, elder care, and cooking appliances. A total $7,000 in prize and research money was awarded to participating teams.

“The students conducted excellent market research and came up with very thorough business propositions for future robotics innovations,” says Hauke Schmidt, director of Bosch Corporate Research, North America. “The engagement with students at the Haas School of Business has proven to be very meaningful for Bosch corporate research.”

“Representing the European Business Club and the organizing team, we are proud to have brought Bosch to campus,” says Matthias Egler, MBA 12, co-president of the European Business Club, with Federico Acabbi, also MBA 12. “This is the result of our effort to develop and strengthen the relationships with European companies in the Bay Area, and we hope to see many such events in the future."