Robot Demonstrations and Banquet
Unexploded ammunition from the 2nd World War is still a major problem in many parts of Europe, especially in Northern Germany where it is regularly found during construction work. Very recently in June 2010, there was for example a severe incident with a WW-II aircraft bomb in Göttingen where 3 people died. Robots are already widely used in the securing and disarming of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) in standard scenarios on land. But quite many WW-II remainders are found in the sea or in lakes and especially rivers that require constant digging to prevent the silting up of the waterways. Their handling is done by human divers under very challenging conditions where robot assistance would be tremendously helpful.
The submarine bunker Valentin as the site of the robot demo is an impressive memorial of the dark times of WW-II. It was designed as reinforced dockyard for the production of submarines. It was build from 1943 until March 1945 by forced laborers of whom many died in the process. It is by far the largest bunker build in Germany and it is only surpassed in size by a similar bunker in Brest in France, which was occupied at that time by German forces. Just shortly before the construction was finished, the Royal Airforce bombarded the bunker Valentin and hits by two 10-tons Grand Slam bombs lead to significant damages, which prevented the submarine dockyard from being used.