More than 219000 manufacturing SMEs in the EU are a crucial factor in Europe's competitiveness, wealth creation, quality of life and employment. Existing technologies have been developed for capital-intensive large-volume manufacturing, resulting in costly and complex systems which typically cannot be used in an SME context. Therefore, manufacturing SMEs are today caught in an automation trap: they must either opt for current and inappropriate automation solutions or compete on the basis of lowest wages.
The SMErobot initiative offers an escape out of the automation trap through:
- Technology development of SME robot systems adaptable to varying degrees of automation
- New business models creating options for financing and operating robot automation
- Empowering the supply chain of robot automation
The following radical innovations are the prime deliverables of the technical work packages:
1. The robot capable of understanding human-like instructions
2. The safe and productive human-aware space-sharing robot
3. The three-day-deployable integrated robot system
The unique composition of the consortium, including six major European robot manufacturers, leading research institutes and universities enables standardization activities for maximum European impact on worldwide standards. SMEs and society benefit from the combined integration of knowledge from component manufacturers to end users, from multidisciplinary activities from mechatronics to business/financing models and from fundamental technical research to SME applications. Management includes dedicated support for SME integration. SMErobot will lead to affordable, dependable and versatile robots with significantly reduced robot setup, changeover and instruction times, which can be used for side-by-side assistance of workers at traditionally manual workplaces. European SMEs will be able to buy/lease, implement and operate these systems to their competitive advantage.
Fields of science
- FP6-NMP - Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based multifunctional materials and new production processes and devices: thematic priority 3 under the 'Focusing and integrating community research' of the 'Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area' specific programme 2002-2006.
Call for proposal
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