Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


RobDREAM Report Summary

Project ID: 645403
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - RobDREAM (Optimising Robot Performance while Dreaming)

Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2016-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Our Project Vision in RobDREAM can be characterised by the following summary:
Sleep! For hominids and most other mammals sleep means more than regeneration. Sleep positively affects working memory, which in turn improves higher-level cognitive functions such as decision making and reasoning. This is the inspiration of RobDREAM!

What if robots could also improve their capabilities in their inactive phases – by processing experiences made during the working day and by exploring – or “dreaming” of – possible future situations and how to solve them best?

In RobDREAM we will improve industrial mobile manipulators’ perception, navigation and manipulation and grasping capabilities by automatic optimization of parameters, strategies and selection of tools within a portfolio of key algorithms for perception, navigation and manipulation and grasping, by means of learning and simulation, and through use case driven evaluation. As a result, mobile manipulation systems will adapt more quickly to new tasks, jobs, parts, areas of operation and various other constraints.

From a scientific perspective the RobDREAM robots will feature increased adaptability, dependability, flexibility, configurability, decisional autonomy, as well as improved abilities in perception, interaction manipulation and motion. The technology readiness level (TRL) of the related key technologies will be increased by means of frequent and iterative real-world testing, validation and improvement phases from the very beginning of the project.

From an economic perspective the Quality of Service and the Overall Equipment Efficiency will increase, while at the same time the Total Cost of Ownership for setup, programming and parameter tuning will decrease. These advantages will support the competitiveness of Europe's manufacturing sector, in particular in SME-like settings with higher product variety and smaller lot-sizes. They also support the head start of technology providers adopting RobDREAM’s technologies to conquer market shares in industrial and professional service robotics.

The two main project goals are:
- the acceleration of the setup process for new automation tasks through more structured and intuitive programming of the robot at task level. Allowing the system to exchange parts of the program with automatically generated and optimized routines.
- speeding up of planning and execution for general methods to solve navigation, manipulation and grasping tasks as well as general approaches for object recognition and object localisation through the use of context information and automated algorithm configuration techniques.

These two project goals and the project vision will be achieved by working on the scientific and technical objectives of the project:
(1) To perform a thorough use case and requirement analysis with a variety of end users to find out about the details on how future production assistants should assist shop floor workers with logistics, machine tending, and pre-assembly tasks.
(2) To shorten deployment and setup times of production assistants by enabling shop floor workers to intuitively tune operational parameters.
(3) To develop an architecture and test-bed that allows the robot to enhance its performance while “dreaming”.
(4) To enhance efficiency & performance of production assistants by automatically optimizing parameters depending on context information for the key technologies navigation, manipulation and grasping, and perception.
(5) To adapt a large portfolio of state-of-the-art algorithms in navigation, manipulation and grasping, and perception, in a uniform and open way, and make the portfolio grow by soliciting algorithms from third parties.
(6) To iteratively test and validate in realistic use cases during the whole duration of the project and transfer best practice solutions from academic to industrial partners and disseminate results beyond.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

According to the project objectives described above the work briefly summarized below has been performed in the first reporting period:
(1) A use case and requirement analysis has been carried out in WP1 and this work will continue for the further design of the realistic manufacturing environment.
(2) A graphical programming environment has been empowered for the use within the RobDREAM project in WP6 and a first evaluation of the capabilities has been carried out also. The engineering framework will be further developed to provide intuitive access to the complex and flexible general methods provided and enhanced in in the portfolio work packages.
(3) A general structure for the DREAMing framework has been developed and development for optimising task performance for single and multiple contexts has been started successfully.
(4) Each key functionality for mobile manipulation (navigation, perception, mobile manipulation and grasping) has defined interfaces to the DREAMing architecture and defined individual DREAMBeds which will be accessible to the overall framework to optimise the parameters and the selection of algorithms.
(5) Work towards the adaptation of state-of-the-art algorithms for the key functionalities for mobile manipulation has been started in WP3, WP4 and WP5. A first evaluation of the provided algorithms by all partners in a realistic setting will commence in the second reporting period. The methods themselves will also be refined.
(6) In WP6 a first round of evaluation has been carried out on a mobile manipulation system. The relevant key features of a mobile manipulator have been tested already with the engineering framework for setting up mobile manipulation tasks.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

RobDREAM aims for progress beyond the state of the art in the following technological and scientific areas:
- Usability and applicability of mobile manipulators
o fully integrated mobile manipulator with perception, navigation, manipulation and planning facilities
o engineering framework for setting up mobile manipulation tasks
- Optimisation methods
o DREAM architecture and optimisation algorithms
- Navigation in changing environments
o Integration of the navigation portfolio in the DREAM architecture
o experience graph approach for mobile navigation tasks in industrial environments
o teach and replay for navigation with computed analytical representation for constrained optimisation problem
- Manipulation and grasping and motion planning
o Integration of the classical sampling based grasping in the DREAM architecture
o Regrasping approaches based on multisensory feedback (visual, tactile)
o Framework for grasp consolidation based on learning from similar examples
o Grasping approaches that consider task and context information
- Perception methods
o Depth-image based object detection integrated into DREAM architecture
o User interaction for perception with automatically derived object annotations

RobDREAM also makes major contributions to the following expected impacts defined in H2020-ICT-2014-1 (ICT 23-2014: Robotics, a. Research & Innovation Actions):
a) Increase Europe's market share in industrial robotics to one third of the market and maintain and strengthen Europe's market share of 50% in professional service robotics by 2020
d) Increase Industry-Academia cross-fertilisation and tighter connection between industrial needs and academic research via technology transfer, common projects, scientific progress on industry-driven challenges (major contribution by RobDREAM)
e) Deploy robotics technologies in new application domains
f) Improve Technology Readiness Levels of robotics technologies
g) Improve performance evaluation and certification of new robotic systems
h) Create and maintain world class research in Europe and achieve excellent standards of publications and research outputs
j) Ensure wide use of shared resources

Related information

Record Number: 186691 / Last updated on: 2016-07-14