Newsletter May-June 2018

euRobotics / SPARC Newsletter June 2018


euRobotics News

EU Policy updates

Other news


euRobotics News

New community mailing list

In connection with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into force on 25th May 2018, euRobotics took over the handling of the community mailing list. The style of the list and its distribution remain the same, however the previous mailing list address is no longer maintained. All mails should be sent to the new community mailing list:

To configure the list, e.g. setting the “digest” mode to get all the information of the day in one summarizing mail, you need to log in at the Sympa system at and set the “receiving mode” to digest.

Since there are currently some technical issues, password reset, or registration mails might not be sent on time. We’re working on a solution and will inform you soon via the website. More information on the list subscribing/ unsubscribing mechanism and other frequently asked questions will be published on the mailing list webpage.

euRobotics would like to thank Fraunhofer-IAIS for having hosted the euron-dist mailing list since 2001. Our appreciation also goes to Sven Behnke and his team, and to Herman Bruyninckx for the message moderation.

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European Robotics Forum 2018 (ERF2018): Wrap up

More than 900 robotics experts, companies and policymakers gathered in Tampere, Finland on 13-15 March 2018, for Europe's largest robotics event — the European Robotics Forum (ERF) 2018.

There were more than 50 workshops and panel discussions, and more than 50 robot demonstrations and exhibits, under the theme “Robots and Us”, covering societal and technical themes, including human-robot-collaboration. The ERF also highlighted current robotics projects funded by the European Commission under Horizon2020, and success stories from completed projects.

Read the event press release

Event photos gallery

Videos gallery

Tampere University of Technology and the Robotics Society in Finland offered groups of pupils from comprehensive and upper secondary schools the opportunity to visit the exhibition and explore the latest robotics technology.

Read the schools’ visit report

  • Download the workshops presentations:

Day 1 presentations

Day 2 presentations

Day 3 presentations

  • euRobotics board members 2018 elected

euRobotics members elected two new members of the association’s board in an election at its General Assembly in Tampere, Finland, on Monday, 12 March. The election of the eight board members is part of the rolling renewal of the 24-member board. They will serve a 3-year term.

18 candidates stood in for election. From these eight seats on the board which were subject to (re-)election in 2018, six members of the Board have been re-elected. The two newly-elected were: Sigrid Brell-Cokcan (Robotics in Architecture) and David Bisset (iTechnic).

euRobotics is grateful to Martin Haegele (Fraunhofer IPA) and Arturo Baroncelli (COMAU) for their dedication serving in the past term of the Board.

New Board composition

  • Projects that will shape the future of robotics win the euRobotics Awards 2018

euRobotics hosted the Georges Giralt PhD Award 2017 & 2018 and the TechTransfer Award 2018, during a Gala Dinner on 14 March 2018, in Tampere, Finland.

Read the PhD Award Georges Giralt and TechTransfer Awards 2018 press release

Winners in the industrial, service and emergency robot competitions of the European Robotics League (ERL) Season 2017/2018 were named on 14 March 2018 at the European Robotics Forum in Tampere, Finland.

Read the European Robotics League Awards Season 2017-2018 press release

Awards ceremony pictures

We would like to thank all #ERF2018 sponsors and exhibitors for their support!

The European Robotics Forum 2019 (#ERF2019)

ERF2019 will take place on 20-22 March 2019, at the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel in Bucharest, Romania. The event is co-organised by a consortium led by the e-Civis association, under the high auspices of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Host the European Robotics Forum 2020

euRobotics is organising a pre-selection for interested parties willing to co-organise the European Robotics Forum 2020. The three most promising candidates will be selected to submit a full proposal. A clear draft of the budget with realistic figures is a prerequisite for the selection.

To participate in the pre-selection, please send the call for draft proposals document duly filled in together with a budget proposal by 27 June 2018 to

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European Robotics Week 2018 (#ERW2018) Central event

Sponsoring and exhibition opportunities

The #ERW2018 Central event will be held on 16-18 November 2018, at the Augsburg Innovationspark, Germany.

The event is offering opportunities for making prospective partners visible. Check our Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsoring packs, as well as standalone options, such as booth only.

We also invite the National Coordinators and event organisers to start preparing ERW2018 and sign-up their events on the dedicated map.

National coordinators actively promote the Week in their country among robotics organizations and encourage them to organise various robotics events for the general public. euRobotics has an enhanced page on the website to promote the national coordinators and show gratitude for their involvement. You can also spread the word and send us your suggestion of coordinators at national or regional levels at

Let’s make #ERW2018 an even greater success and get to 1000 events organised all over Europe this year!

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Welcome to the new euRobotics members

euRobotics would like to spotlight recent members who joined our association during the first quarter of 2018. We are very fortunate to now count as full members a variety of prominent industrial companies, as well as number of respected academic institutions.  

Sick AG is a leading global manufacturer of sensors and sensor applications for industrial application, while Fujitsu Technology Solutions GmbH, a subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, is a European IT vendor who provides products and services and managed infrastructure; both are headquartered in Germany. French companies include Sterela, an SME solution maker with applications in aerospace, electronics, road management, meteorological observation, among others; BA Systémes, which designs, integrates, and maintains intralogistics systems with automated guided vehicles;  and AnotherBrain, a start-up which creates powerful AI circuits for defence, robotics, autonomous cars.

Universitat Politècnica de València in Spain, the Modélisation, Information & Systèmes laboratory of the Université de Picardie in France, and the Università Degli Studi di Udine in Italy make up the representation from education and research. KVS Technologies is a Norwegian Technology Company established in 2015, specializing in harsh environment robotics and real time remote control. Innovation Muhendislik Ltd. Sti, which conducts R&D projects on indoor and outdoor positioning systems, as well as intelligent vehicles is the second euRobotics member from Turkey.  

The Romanian association E-Civis is the main local organiser involved in the organisation of the European Robotics Forum 2019 which will take place in Bucharest.

If you know of any organisation that might benefit from joining euRobotics or desire to work alongside one of your contacts as a member of the association, please contact us at   

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EU Policy updates

  • Name of the next Framework Programme revealed: Horizon Europe

The European Commission has just revealed that the name of the ninth European framework programme for research and innovation will be Horizon Europe. The name encompasses excellence and the European collective strength. Horizon Europe will be bridging the past and the future of research and innovation in Europe.

Read more about Horizon Europe

  • Communications related to the future framework programme

Digital transformation holds the key to unlocking future growth in Europe. Through new funding projects, the next long-term EU budget – the European Multiannual Financial Framework - will help to bridge the EU’s digital investment gap for the 2021-2027 period.

“For the first time, the EU will have dedicated funding for digital: €9.19 billion in the Digital Europe Programme”, reads the Statement by Vice-President Ansip on the Digital Europe Programme.


Digital Europe programme budget

Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) budget

  • Communication: Artificial Intelligence for Europe

AI is transforming our society and our industry, helping us to solve some of the world's biggest challenges: from treating chronic diseases or reducing mortality rates in traffic accidents, to fighting climate change or anticipating cybersecurity threats. Therefore, a solid European framework for AI is needed.

The European Commission has issued a Communication on AI highlighting the need to join forces at European level in order to ensure that all Europeans are part of the digital transformation. The Communication also focuses on the importance of devoting adequate resources and of keeping EU values and fundamental rights at the forefront of the AI landscape.

Read the Communication From The Commission To The European Parliament, The European Council, The Council, The European Economic And Social Committee And The Committee Of The Regions : Artificial Intelligence for Europe

  • COVR: Focus for collaborative robot safety

Five European research and technology organisations have launched an EU-funded initiative to remove barriers to the safety of collaborative robots.

The COVR initiative aims to provide a single access point for validating the safety of collaborative robots, based on EU directives and standards, and to produce test protocols for safety validation.

The project coordinator Kurt Nielsen, of the Centre for Robot Technology at the Danish Technological Institute (DTI), a COVR founder, said: “One main reason we don’t see more true cobots in use is the complexity of safety certification. With so many different directives, rules and regulations there is a lot of doubt as to what tests are needed to guarantee a 'safe' collaborative robot."

COVR will give awards up to €60.000 for the development and testing of cobot components or systems. The first of three calls for applications for awards will be in the autumn of 2018.

Read more about COVR

  • MEPs demand intelligent transport timetable

The European Parliament has called on the European Commission to speed up the deployment of connected intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) with a timetable and targets between 2019 and 2029.

“Automation is knocking at the door and all vehicles should communicate and be connected with each other and the infrastructure. We already have mature C-ITS technologies today,” said the Parliament's Transport and Tourism Committee rapporteur István Ujhelyi MEP. "C-ITS is the key element for secure and safe mobility all over Europe."

The Parliament also called on the Commission to produce, by the end of this year, a regulatory proposal on access to car data, to ensure "a secure, consumer-friendly and competitive approach”.

The Parliament was responding to the Commission's C-ITS strategy to allow vehicles to talk to each other and to the infrastructure on EU roads from 2019. Smart vehicles should comply fully with the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect in May 2018, and related rules said the Parliament.

  • Sign of concern against creating a legal status of 'electronic person'

130 experts in robotics, artificial intelligence, legal, ethics etc. signed an open letter written by Nathalie Nevejans, a law lecturer at the University of Artois, France, arguing against creating a legal status of 'electronic person' for robots. The letter addressed to the European Commission is a response to a call in February last year by the European Parliament for the Commission to consider such as a legal status for robots, one of the recommendations in the Parliament's Civil Law Rules of Robotics resolution.

The open letter says that the Parliament's suggestion of a robot legal status was based on the incorrect claim that damage liability would be impossible to prove.

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Other news

  • Robots could slow offshoring of production

Robotics may improve production economics enough to stop companies offshoring production — or moving production overseas, according to a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). However, similar investments in robots do not seem strong or large enough to reverse offshoring that has already happened, said the study. Also, robotics do not seem to be a major factor in attracting international investment. Although the OECD paper said that it might be too early to see any potentially disruptive effects of robotics on the location of production, it concluded that the rate of growth of global supply chains might be slower than in the past.

  • Swiss adopt drone traffic management system

The Swiss air traffic control company Skyguide is to set up what it called Europe's first national drone traffic management system, using an unmanned traffic management (UTM) system developed by the US company Airmap. Skyguide said that it had been working with Airmap for a year, with the aim of allowing all categories of drones to fly safely in Switzerland's airspace. The system will begin trial working in June 2018, with full deployment in 2019. The system will include blockchain-based registration for users and drones, 'dynamic geofencing and instant digital airspace authorisation', and real-time traffic alerts for drone pilots. Such features were part of the EU's Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research Joint Undertaking, which was set up to write an EU-approved set of rules for drone flights across the bloc. Switzerland is not an EU member but uses the same air traffic rules, under the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

  • UK government reviews driving laws for autonomous vehicles

The UK government has commissioned a three-year review of driving laws to identify obstacles to the development, testing and use of self-driving vehicles. The review will consider future vehicles without a conventional driver or steering wheel and potential criminal offences related to such vehicles, said the UK roads minister Jesse Norman. Norman also announced the review at the GATEway project in Greenwich, London, which has included an autonomous delivery pod for food retailer and euRobotics member Ocado and an automated valet parking trial.

  • Airport shuttle

Gatwick in the UK claimed that it would be the first airport in the world to test autonomous vehicles to move staff around the airside of an airport. Success with the shuttle vehicles from Oxbotica, which is involved in other autonomous vehicle trials in the UK, could lead to staff using an "uber-type service" to move around the airfield, said Gatwick. It claimed that the widespread use of autonomous vehicles on airfields could reduce vehicle numbers, emissions and costs. The Gatwick trial is expected to begin before the autumn this year.

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Future Robotics Events

19–22 June 2018


Munich, Germany

AUTOMATICA, the leading exhibition in smart automation and robotics takes place in Munich from 19-22 June 2018.

It’s focus is the digitization of production, where digital transformation, human-robot collaboration, and Workplace 4.0 are core areas. Around 900 exhibitors, including many members of euRobotics, will show their products and services. The full range of industrial and service robotics, as well as components and systems like machine vision are covered. In addition, major research organisations and several EC funded projects such as EuRoC, ECHORD++, or ReConCell present their results.

1–5 October 2018

IROS 2018 — IEEE/RSJ conference on intelligent robots and systems

Madrid, Spain

The Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) conference and fair in Madrid, has received more than 2,700 submissions for papers and more than 100 proposals for workshops and tutorials. euRobotics members can get a special exhibition deal at IROS. euRobotics member PAL Robotics is the first Platinum sponsor of the IROS exhibition and KUKA is a Gold sponsor. The IROS organisers, the scientific robotics societies IEEE and RSJ, expect more than 3,000 participants, including from nearly 200 universities and research centres.

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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on 25 May 2018, harmonizing existing data protection legislation within the European Union. We at euRobotics are committed to ensure your data is treated with the highest standards. We are looking forward to continuing our fruitful cooperation within the framework of the GDPR.

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euRobotics AISBL is a Brussels-based international non-profit association supporting research, development and innovation in robotics. It is based in Brussels and has more than 250-member organisations.

Under the European Union's framework program Horizon 2020, euRobotics and the European Commission formed the public-private partnership SPARC, which has €700 million of funding from the Commission in 2014–2020 to extend Europe’s leadership in civilian robotics.

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