CORDIS Express: Robots come of age!
For years Hollywood has told us that robots are either cute and comedic sidekicks or diabolical deviants intent on destroying mankind. As robots enter almost every aspect of our lives, the emerging reality is more complex, and hopefully much more inspiring! From healthcare to home care and from security to agriculture, robots are making our lives more comfortable, easier and safer. The use of robotics in healthcare, for example, is making surgery less invasive and more precise. Meanwhile, robots also help elderly people to stay in their homes for longer. A prime example is 94-year-old Lea Mina Ralli from Italy who is ably assisted by her ‘Mr Robin’ robot developed by the GIRAFF+ project . With the global robotics market expected to be worth EUR 60 billion a year by 2020, robotics can also offer a boon to the European economy. No wonder then that the EU is making serious investments in the field. Earlier this year, the European Commission and 180 companies and research organisations launched the world's largest civilian research and innovation programme in robotics called SPARC . Robotics researchers should take note: the first calls for proposals related to SPARC are run under the Horizon 2020 pillar LEIT - Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies . However, you don’t have to be a researcher to explore the magic of robotics. The public is invited to join in on the fun at the upcoming European Robotics Week which takes place this year from 24 to 30 November. Industry, research institutes and universities in 25 European countries will offer more than 300 robotics related activities. Participants can look forward to open laboratories, exhibitions, robots in action on public squares, school visits by robotics lecturers, guided tours in science museums and much more. The hope is that European Robotics Week will inspire the researchers of the future to explore this exciting area of science. However, we don’t have to wait for the next generation to see robotics research in action! This week’s edition of CORDIS Express takes a look at EU-funded robotics-related projects, as well as news and events in the field. - 4th Edition of European Robotics Week: 24th - 30th November 2014 - Down on the farm, cows graze while robots milk - Robots for large-scale maintenance - Intelligent vision system enables welding robots - Autonomous robotic system for thermo-graphic detection of cracks