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Information & Communication Technologies



Special Initiative: Symbiotic human-machine interaction


  • 4 projects selected , starting soon (or still under negotiation)


The initiative on "Symbiosis between humans and computers" aims at a deeper understanding of human behaviour during interaction with ICT, going beyond conventional approaches. It is coordinated as part of the "Robotics" activity, in Objective ICT-2013.2.1 "Robotics, Cognitive Systems & Smart Spaces, Symbiotic Interaction" target c). The work on symbiotic human-machine relations is not restricted to robotics.

Objective ICT-2013.2.1 Robotics, Cognitive Systems & Smart Spaces, Symbiotic Interaction (Extract from Work programme text)

For more information about targets a) Intelligent robotics systems, and b) Cognitive systems and smart spaces, please consult the Robotics unit Call 10 website .

Target outcome
RTD targets systems that can operate autonomously in the real world through e.g. scene and context understanding, anticipation and reaction / adaptation to changes, manipulation and navigation, as well as symbiotic human-machine relations.
• RTD will help to achieve breakthroughs in the introduction of robotics technology in diverse physical environments and in smart spaces (with energy efficiency improvements). Complementary RTD strands in the target outcomes listed below may be combined as appropriate, including through demonstration as well as methodological validation approaches and measures of progress (e.g. through suitable benchmarks).
• Foundational research will address cognitive systems and symbiotic human machine interactions.

Target outcome c) Symbiotic human-machine interaction

Foundational research on symbiotic relations between humans and machines will aim at the design of new interactive technologies based on new theories and models of human cognition and emotion, non-rational decision-making, social behaviour and spatial and temporal perception and processing. RTD will also investigate the influence of such technologies on human behaviour and methods to promote positive co-evolution and co-adaptation of symbiotic systems.

Expected impact

The overall impact expected is to contribute to an appropriate mix of the following:

  • help increase Europe's market share in industrial and service robots to reach one third of market share by 2020, and improve the competitiveness of Europe in manufacturing sector;
  • create a substantial upsurge in the involvement of key industry players, including SMEs and mid caps, in EU-level collaborative research, strengthening their links with academia;
  • achieve scientific and technical excellence in terms of e.g. improved systems functionality, quality, performance and sustainability and degree of successful integration of such results into real-world scenarios;
  • develop innovative concepts and prototypes of co-evolving technologies based on new theories and models and deeper understanding of human behaviour;
  • achieve high levels of scientific publication as well as new PhDs and open source software releases or patents.

Funding Schemes: IP, STREP

Indicative budget: EUR 67 million, of which minimum 52M€ for target a) and b), and minimum 10M€ for target c) . Within these constraints, a minimum of 40% of the objective budget to IPs and 25% of the objective budget to STREPS.



  • Call open: 10 July 2012
  • Deadline for submission of proposals: 15 January 2013 (17h Brussels local time)
  • Start of projects: Autumn 2013


  • BIOMOT - Smart Wearable Robots with Bioinspired Sensory-Motor Skills
    Project fact sheet
  • EASEL - Expressive Agents for Symbiotic Education and Learning
    Project fact sheet
  • MINDSEE - Symbiotic Mind Computer Interaction for Information Seeking
    Project fact sheet
  • SYMBITRON - Symbiotic man-machine interactions in wearable exoskeletons to enhance mobility for paraplegics
    Project fact sheet


FET consultation workshop on "Human Computer Confluence" report ( 1028KB )
written contributions ( 1357KB )
11 November 2011, Brussels


Related FET Proactive Initiative:


Christiane WILZECK (email removed)