In 2016, the European Union co-funded 17 new robotics projects from the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for research and innovation. 16 of these resulted from the robotics work programme, and 1 project resulted from the Societal Challenges part of Horizon 2020. The robotics work programme implements the robotics strategy developed by SPARC, the Public-Private Partnership for Robotics in Europe (see the Strategic Research Agenda).
A wide variety of research and innovation themes are represented in the new projects: from healthcare via transportation, industrial- and logistics robotics to events media production using drones. Some deal with complex safety matters on the frontier where robots meet people, to ensure that no one comes to harm. Others will create a sustainable ecosystem in the robotics community, setting up common platforms supporting robotics development. One project deals exclusively with the potentially radical changes facing society with the rise of new autonomous technologies. The projects are either helping humans in their daily lives at home or at work, collaborating with humans to help them with difficult, strenuous tasks, or taking care of dangerous tasks, reducing the risk to humans.
The research and innovation projects focus on a wide variety of Robotics and Autonomous Systems and capabilities, such as navigation, human-robot interaction, recognition, cognition and handling. Many of these abilities can be transferable to other fields as well.
At the European Robotics Forum 2017, on 22-24 March 2017, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, all projects presented themselves during a dedicated workshop. euRobotics is publishing video interviews with each project, so that you can find out more about their activities.
We are looking forward to following these new projects and accompanying them to bring benefits to Europe’s citizens and economy.