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Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Information Society and Media
, at the launch on October 7, 2005 in Brussels of EUROP:
"Advanced Robotics : why Europe needs to catch up in this strategic sector"
Release of the EUROP Strategic Research Agenda on June 29, 2006
- EUROP , the European Robotics Platform
EUROP (The European Robotics Platform) is Europe's initiative in robotics research that addresses three big application domains: Industrial robot systems, service robots and Space and Security robots.
EUROP brings together all the main European robotics stakeholders with the aim to formulate and implement a consolidated European robotics strategy.
The first meeting of a high-level group of robotics academia and industries took place at the "World Robotics Report" presentation at the UNECE in October 2004, followed by an intense workshop of the Robotics Action Group (a grouping of top executives from leading robotic industrial and research organisations) to develop a vision and a strategy towards a Robotics platform for Europe. This was followed by expanded group meetings in Brussels and Barcelona to establish the agenda for a European Technology Platform in Robotics.
- Participants : PDF
The updated (2010) Strategic Research Agenda for robotics, SRA , prioritises research and development efforts in Europe and encourages cross-fertilisation among all robotics domains and beyond. It aims to facilitate collaboration among our member organisations and will direct their focus on key technologies which in turn will lead to industrial innovation and a viable robotics industry in Europe by 2020. The SRA was compiled by the industry-driven Coordination Action for Robotics in Europe (CARE) with much support from industrial and academic robotics stakeholders most of which are organised in the European Robotics Technology Platform (EUROP). More info at http://www.robotics-platform.eu/SRA
- Strategic Research Agenda 2006 : PDF (1.889KB)
Vision for the future
In the same way as mobile phones and laptops have changed our daily lives, robots are poised to become, sooner or later, a part of everyday life; as our appliances, servants and assistants; as our helpers and elder-care companions; assisting surgeons in medical operations; intervening in hazardous or life-critical environments for search and rescue operations; cleaning an repairing pipes or searching for life elsewhere.
The vision for future robotics systems is therefore that of empowering European citizens and the basis of this empowerment is the provision of robots that work with people rather than away from people; robots that interact with people and with each other and which adapt their behaviour to the requirements of the task they are given and the environment they are in.
The robot systems of the next decades will thus be human assistants, helping people what to do in a natural and intuitive manner.
These robotic assistants will include:
- Co-workers in the workplace: integrated as agents in symbiotic manufacturing systems, empowering the workers, serving them to be more productive and increasing their skill level.
- Companions at home: empowering the infirm and the elderly to live independent lives, providing them assistance, mobility aid, rehabilitation and multi-media services.
- Servants and playmates: empowering individuals by carrying out their domestic chores, thus giving people more time and choice and interactively entertaining or educating them.
- Assistants for service professionals: empowering professionals to perform better, faster, safer, cheaper, in all spheres of industries including surgery, physiotherapy, building construction, smart transports, subsea inspection and repair.
- Agents for security and space, assisting and empowering people to venture into hostile and dangerous areas and acting on behalf of people in the exploration of unknown environments.
This is a vision of how advanced robots might interact and work symbiotically with us. Technically achieving this vision is still some way off. In the context of the work place, today’s robots are far from being able to understand and reason about their environments, their goals and their own capabilities, or to learn from experience and from what they have been taught.
The evolution of an information society is characterised by a growing spread of ubiquitous computing and communications, and by the development of services that are personalised, location- and context-aware. One facet is the development of artefacts with embedded computing and communication and of ad-hoc networks of sensors forming what has been termed "ambient intelligence". The role played by robots in everyday environments can be enhanced by embedding them into such emerging ICT environments. Through relevant standardisation, they will be able to Executive summary - 5 call upon a distributed knowledge base, co-ordinate their activities with other ICT devices and systems and become the agents of physical action for delivering (either individually or collectively as a group) novel capabilities, applications and services, resulting in the active home, office and public environment. These are the factors that have motivated the vision of future European Robotics and the action that will bring it about. Such a vision of a thriving knowledge based industry will only result from proactive joint effort.
EUROP Mirror Group
The Mirror Group ensures the participation of public authorities at national, regional and European levels in their function as policy makers, regulators and funding bodies to EUROP activities. The aim of the Mirror Group is to develop synergies between national and European programmes and policies, pool resources to support the implementation of the Strategic Agenda and to promote a fertile innovation environment and a state-of-the-art research infrastructure for Robotics in Europe.
The present members of the Group are: Austria; Bulgaria; Czech Republic; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Italy; Latvia; Turkey; United Kingdom; Portugal
The Group has held two meetings:
- Meeting of 29 June 2006
- Minutes PDF
- Meeting of 26 September 2006
- MINUTES PDF
- PRESENTATIONS given by European Commission representatives
- PRESENTATIONS of national robotics initiatives: