As our field continues to expand and embrace the challenges of operation in the human world, robotics is revealing a much wider range of applications and involving diverse scientific disciplines such as biomechanics, neuroscience, haptics, animation, surgery, and sensor networks among others. Today, new communities of researchers and developers are forming, with growing connections to the core of robotics research. A strategic goal for our community is one of outreach and scientific cooperation across all regions and organizations. Our common endeavour as roboticists to reach this goal certainly holds the promise of exciting progress toward new frontiers. Cooperation between academia and industry is crucial to advance know-how and to pursue innovation in joint technology and application development in robotics. The knowledge transfer within and outside the robotics community is enhanced only through a significant increase of communication, dissemination and networking activities.

DIH2

DIH^2
  •  ​ A Pan European Network of Robotics DIHs for Agile Production
  • ​  January 2019 ‒ December 2022
  • ​  15,999,942 €
  • ​ ​website
DIH2 is a network of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) to spark incremental and disruptive innovations in manufacturing SMEs and mid-caps, by supporting them in their agile production challenge and unleashing their digitalization potential by enabling robot solutions that are more cost effective at lower lot sizes. The project relies on: a Common Open Platform Reference Architecture for Agile Production (COPRA-AP); a marketplace as one-stop-shop for SMEs to access essential services for digital transformation including business modelling, technical support, access to skills and finance; two competitive open calls to launch an ambitious technology transfer program; a corporate sponsorship program from equipment and automation suppliers committed with the network to get access to wider market and latest research in robotics. DIH2 is to transform this network into a self-sustainable non-profit association with members all over Europe.
 

RIMA

RIMA
  •  ​ Robotics for Infrastructure Inspection and MAintenance 
  • ​  January 2019 ‒ December 2022
  • ​  16,048,605 €
  • ​ ​website
Inspection and Maintenance (I&M) represents a huge economic activity spanning across sectors such as energy, transport, civil engineering. RIMA aims to establish a network of Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) on robotics sharing best practices and providing services to facilitate uptake of I&M technologies. Our challenge is to reinforce this connection, to provide training on I&M and to connect the value chain ―research, technology companies, service providers, end users and investors― for accelerating economic growth in the field. RIMA offers services including support to testing and technology transfer, coaching and training on robotics for I&M, process optimization and communication. Expected results are: increased competitiveness, economic added value by increased productivity and availability of the critical infrastructure, social and environmental impact through improved safety and reduced emission of hazardous substances, constitution of a sustainable and scalable DIH network.
 

ROCK EU2

ROCKEU2
  •  ​ Robotics Coordination Action for Europe Two
  • ​  February 2016 ‒ January 2018
  • ​  2,499,463 €
ROCK EU2 builds on and extends the successful community integration of ROCK EU by providing analysis of innovation and skills and by developing major outreach activities. This extension is achieved by intensifying and strengthening collaboration within the community and by taking a leading role in the development of strategy. This includes activities in market observation, technology watch, innovation support, analysis of funded proposals, regulations assessment, and standardisation support. The project aims to intensifying cooperation with international funding agencies (e.g. for joint calls), policy makers, and end-users as key enablers in the R&D&I process that contribute to the outreach and innovation themes. The impact of robot competitions both for public awareness as well as for industry is to be analysed and its results shall influence the roadmap for future European robot competitions and outreach campaigns.
 

EUROC

EuRoC
  •  ​ European Robotics Challenges
  • ​  January 2014 ‒ June 2018
  • ​  16,500,000 €
  • ​ ​website
The European manufacturing industry needs competitive solutions to keep global leadership in products and services. The EUROC project is to launch three industry-relevant challenges (reconfigurable interactive manufacturing cell, shop floor logistics and manipulation, plant servicing and inspection) aimed at sharpening the focus of European manufacturing through a number of application experiments, while adopting an innovative approach which ensures benchmarking and performance evaluation. Within an open call framework, three stages of increasing complexity and financial support for competing teams level the playing field for new contestants, attract new developers and new end users toward customisable robot applications, and provide sustainable solutions for future challenges. Exploiting synergies across application experts, technology suppliers, system integrators and service providers speed up the process of bringing innovative technologies from research labs to industrial end-users.
 

ROCK EU

ROCKEU
  •  ​ Robotics Coordination Action for Europe
  • ​  January 2013 ‒ July 2016
  • ​  2,990,000 €
  • ​ ​website

The European robotics community has grown significantly over the last few years. At the same time public

funding enabled the community to become more organised on both the research and the industrial side and to develop a strategic research agenda. Research and industry stakeholders have decided to combine their portfolio of activities and member base within a new non-profit organisation, euRobotics AISBL, which intends to engage in a contractual Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the European Commission (EC). The main players behind this success story have joined ROCK EU to address the most important challenges for the coming three to five years: professional coordination of technology roadmapping and implementation of innovation activities, fostering collaboration among all stakeholders of European robotics, promoting European robotics. The project has the ambition to create sustainable solutions for these challenges, building on the previous successful instruments.
 

EU ROBOTICS

euROBOTICS
  •  ​ European Robotics Coordination Action
  • ​  January 2010 ‒ December 2012
  • ​  1,999,000 €
  • ​ ​website
The objectives of EU ROBOTICS are to boost European robotics research, development and innovation and to foster a positive perception of robotics. It aims at: strengthening competitiveness and ensuring industrial leadership of manufacturers, providers and end users of robotics technology-based systems and services; the widest and best uptake of robotics technologies and services for professional and private use; the excellence of the science base of European robotics. EU ROBOTICS builds upon the success of the European Robotics Technology Platform (EUROP) and the academic network of EURON, leading towards the establishment of one sustainable organisation for the entire European robotics community.
 

ECHORD

ECHORD
  •  ​ European Clearing House for Open Robotics Development
  • ​  January 2009 ‒ December 2013
  • ​  18,969,760 €
  • ​ ​website
The purpose of ECHORD is to significantly advance technological know-how and to pursue progress and innovation in joint technology and application development in European robotics. The main instrument for achieving this goal is by setting up the framework for European research institutions and robot manufacturers to cooperate in experiments that have a maximum duration of 18 months, have a specific concrete focus and use state-of-the-art equipment provided by the manufacturers. The concept of the experiments is based on past experiences with joint projects, and it intends to emulate the conditions that turned those projects into success stories. The project creates a productive collaboration environment for research institutes and manufacturers across Europe and helps even small institutions or manufacturers to participate in setting up a strong network in the European robotics community.
 

ETHICBOTS

ETHICBOTS
  •  ​ Emerging Technoethics of Human Interaction with Communication, Bionic, and Robotic Systems 
  • ​  November 2005 ‒ October 2007
  • ​  420,000 €
  • ​ ​website

ETHICBOTS coordinates a multidisciplinary group of researchers into AI, robotics, anthropology, moral philosophy, philosophy of science, psychology, and cognitive science, with the common purpose of identifying and analyzing techno-ethical issues concerning the integration of human beings and artificial entities. Three kinds of integration are analyzed: human‒softbot integration, as achieved by AI research on information and communication technology; human‒robot, non-invasive integration, as achieved by research on autonomous systems inhabiting human environments; physical, invasive integration, as achieved by bionic research. Crucial ethical issues in these areas include: preservation of human identity and integrity; applications of precautionary principles; economic and social discrimination; artificial system autonomy and accountability; responsibilities for warfare applications; nature and impact of human‒machine cognitive and affective bonds on individuals and society.

 

EURON 

EURON
  •  ​ European Robotics Network
  • ​  May 2004 ‒ April 2008
  • ​  3,340,000 €
  • ​ ​website

Europe is already today the leader in industrial robotics. At the same time Europe is experiencing a significant aging of society. This change in demographics will have consequences on industry, style of living, entertainment, etc. A key contributor to the development of aids for everyday life (at the workplace and in the homes) will be robotics technology. The topic is, however, far wider than traditional industrial robotics, it involved direct brain interfaces, service robotics, etc. In addition, the area is not only in need of new research and development, but also human resources to participate and drive the innovation process. The project outlines a work program to ensure that the "wider" area of robotics is addressed in an adequate manner to allow for continued growth. The work-plan involves activities on research coordination, training and education, dissemination efforts, collaboration with end-user industries, and research projects on emerging problems.

 

EURON

EURON
  •  ​ European Robotics Research Network
  • ​  December 2000 ‒ April 2004
  • ​  1,035,000 €
  • ​ ​website

Europe is already today the leader in industrial robotics. At the same time Europe is experiencing a significant aging of society. This change in demographics will have consequences on industry, style of living, entertainment, etc. A key contributor to the development of aids for everyday life (at the workplace and in the homes) will be robotics technology. The topic is, however, far wider than traditional industrial robotics, it involved direct brain interfaces, service robotics, etc. In addition, the area is not only in need of new research and development, but also human resources to participate and drive the innovation process. The project outlines a work program to ensure that the "wider" area of robotics is addressed in an adequate manner to allow for continued growth. The work-plan involves activities on research coordination, training and education, dissemination efforts, collaboration with end-user industries, and research projects on emerging problems.