By: Robert Loos
January 20, 2015
Recently, Horizon 2020 announced co-funding for 17 new robotics projects chosen from the initial call, which went out at the beginning of 2014.
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation program ever. With nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years, in addition to the private investment that this money will attract, the program promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas more quickly from the lab to the market.
Thirteen of the successful projects focus on the development of abilities and key technologies relevant for industrial and service robotics. Four of them aim to introduce, test and validate robotic solutions in a real-world context.
A sample selection of these inventive robotics projects, each with a range of research partners, includes:
CENTAURO: The CENTAURO project aims to develop a human-robot symbiotic system, in which a human operator is tele-present within a Centaur-like robot. It will be capable of robust locomotion and dexterous manipulation in rough terrain and difficult conditions which characterizes disasters.
The CENTAURO system will be capable of using unmodified human tools for solving complex bimanual manipulation tasks, such as connecting a hose or opening a valve. A human operator will control the robot intuitively using a full-body telepresence suit that provides visual, auditory, and upper-body haptic feedback.
Robot preceptoins and suggested actions will be displayed to the operator using augmented reality techniques.
EurEyeCase: The EurEyeCase project will build up and validate a convincing robot-assisted operation suite, which will help surgeons in treating a selection of particularly demanding vitreo-retinal procedures. This includes the treatment of retinal vein/artery occlusion through cannulation and epiretinal membrane treatment.
Novel sensing technologies will be further developed and integrated with advanced control methods to deliver unprecedented levels of safety and performance.
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RobDREAM: What if robots could also improve their capabilities in their inactive phases – by processing experiences made during the working day and by exploring – or “dreaming” of – possible future problems and how to solve them?
With RobDREAM industrial mobile manipulators’ perception, navigation, manipulation and grasping capabilities will be improved by automatic optimization of parameters, strategies and selection of tools within a portfolio of key algorithms. By means of learning and simulation, and through use case driven evaluation, capacities for perception, navigation, manipulation and grasping will be optimized.
As a result, mobile manipulation systems will adapt more quickly to new tasks, jobs, parts, areas of operation and various other constraints.
Flourish: The goal of the Flourish project is to bridge the gap between the current and desired capabilities of agricultural robots by developing an adaptable robotic solution for precision farming.
By combining the aerial survey capabilities of a small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with a multi-purpose agricultural Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), the system will be able to survey a field from the air, perform targeted intervention on the ground, and provide detailed information for decision support, all with minimal user intervention.
The system can be adapted to a wide range of crops by choosing different sensors and ground treatment packages.
Complete details of all the winning robotics projects, as well as an overview of additional programs, calls and deadlines can be found on the EU Digital Agenda for Europe website.
Source: Horizon 2020