Dancing robots prompt IEEE to choose Vienna

Intellectual Capitals /  / 
Robotic factory Photo Credit: 123RF

School children in Austria’s capital will take part in a competition to invent the best ‘dancing robot’ following a creative bid by the city to land a major electronics conference.

Vienna will host the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in 2026 after impressing the event’s owners with proposals for an extensive outreach programme.

AIM Group International, the professional congress organisers, and the Vienna Convention Bureau supported the bid, which was led by local academic host Prof Markus Vincze of TU Wien, and included Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center, where the event will be held.

The close collaboration between the team, the innovative event design, and the extensive legacy and outreach programme were cited as ‘defining factors’ in the bid’s success.

The hybrid event, which in 2022 attracted over 8,000 delegates (of whom almost 5,000 attended in person), will convene the world’s top academics, researchers, and industry representatives.

Robots for All will be the 2026 theme, reflecting the organiser’s desire to reach out to the Viennese public and convince them of the potential everyday benefits of robotics.

The community programme, which is being supported by local firm ARS Electronica, will include a ‘Long Day of the Robots’ exhibition and a school competition to create the best dancing robot. 

Prof. Markus Vincze, chair of the congress committee and local host, said: “Hosting an event of the scale of ICRA2026 will provide us with the platform we need to ignite robotics throughout all our schools and enhance public understanding of the role and potential benefits of robotics in day-to-day living.’

Christian Woronka, director B2B Management and Head of the Vienna Convention Bureau, added: “The choice for Vienna once again confirms the city's role as an international science and research location. Furthermore, ICRA shows that future-oriented technologies and personal meetings are not contradictory. On the contrary: with community programs, the topic of robotics and automation, a field that is often difficult to grasp, will also be brought closer to the public. An exciting approach and a great congress, which we look forward to with great anticipation.’

Lisa Stern, operations director of AIM Austria GmbH, concluded: “Our goal is to create a programme that surprises and inspires the audience and supports networking amongst the robotics community. We’re really looking forward to using creative designs to bring on-site and online delegates together.”


James Lancaster
Written By
James Lancaster

AMI editor James Lancaster is a familiar face in the meetings industry and international association community. Since joining AMI in 2010, he has gained a reputation for asking difficult questions and getting lost in convention centres. Proofer, podcaster, and panellist - in his spare time, James likes to walk, read, listen to music, and drink beer.

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