€12m network to boost AI-based robotics in Europe

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

A European project on AI-based robotics is bringing together the leading European research labs for the first time.

The €12.5m euROBIn project includes Belgian lab imec with DLR and Fraunhofer in Germany and CEA in France and ETH and EPFL in Switzerland. In all, there are 31 participants from 13 member states and Switzerland, with companies including Siemens, DHL and Volkswagen, who are all major users of commercial robotic systems.

However this does not currently include the largest robotics lab in the region, the Bristol Robotics Lab, which is based in the UK. UK researchers are currently struggling with the lack of association to EU research projects as a result of political negotiations, see UK publishes alternative to EU Horizon research programme

The euROBIn project is coordinated by the Institute of Robotics of Mechatronics of the German Aerospace Centre, which says the network is open to the entire robotics community and provides mechanisms of cascade funding for doubling its number of members over the next years.

Leading experts from the European robotics and AI research community will share their algorithms and data, ranging from abstract representations to specific maps and pre-trained models. The network says it seeks to address the fragmentation of the European AI in Robotics landscape and facilitate technology transfer. 

“imec has a lot of relevant technologies for making robots interact and explore unstructured environments while executing trustworthy and safe interactions with humans. Our leading robotics and AI researchers developing applications as cobots, exoskeletons, social robots, drones and soft robots will be involved. With euRobin we want to accelerate the research in human centreed robotics,” said Prof Bram Vanderborght, principle investigator of Brubotics, VUB and imec,

The network aims to boost cooperation and exchange of scientific knowledge and talents between the most outstanding robotics labs in Europe in the eras of knowledge representation, physical interaction and robotic learning & human-robot interaction to enable ground-breaking new applications in industrial, personal and outdoor robotics in Europe.

Software, data and knowledge will be exchanged over the EuroCore repository, designed to become a central platform for robotics in Europe.

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