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Impact Aware Manipulation by Dexterous Robot Control and Learning in Dynamic Semi-Structured Logistic Environments

Project description

Human-like dexterity in robots is within reach

Giving a robot the 'human touch' has a whole new meaning thanks to recent advances in technology. The area of robotics in which multiple manipulators, or fingers, cooperate to grasp and manipulate objects is defined as dexterous manipulation. The application of dexterous robot technologies is necessary in next-generation manufacturing systems with flexible and small-batch production. The EU-funded I.AM. project will leverage the technology of torque-controlled robots, which can withstand physical interaction with the environment, by focussing on impact-aware manipulation in logistics. To bring robots to an unprecedented level of manipulation abilities, it will incorporate this new technology in existing robots and accelerate take-up and deployment.


Europe is leading the market of torque-controlled robots. These robots can withstand physical interaction with the environment, including impacts, while providing accurate sensing and actuation capabilities. I.AM leverages this technology and strengthens European leadership by endowing robots to exploit intentional impacts for manipulation. I.AM focuses on impact aware manipulation in logistics, a new area of application for robotics which will grow exponentially in the coming years, due to socio-economical drivers such as booming of e-commerce and scarcity of labor.
I.AM relies on four scientific and technological research lines that will lead to breakthroughs in modeling, sensing, learning and control of fast impacts: 1) I.Model offers experimentally validated accurate impact models, embedded in a highly realistic simulator to predict post-impact robot states based on pre-impact conditions; 2) I.Learn provides advances in planning and learning for generating desired control parameters based on models of uncertainties inherent to impacts; 3) I.Sense develops an impact-aware sensing technology to robustly assess velocity, force, and robot contact state in close proximity of impact times, allowing to distinguish between expected and unexpected events; 4) I.Control generates a framework that, in conjunction with the realistic models, advanced planning, and sensing components, allows for robust execution of dynamic manipulation tasks.
This integrated paradigm, I.AM brings robots to an unprecedented level of manipulation abilities. By incorporating this new technology in existing robots, I.AM enables shorter cycle time (10%) for applications requiring dynamic manipulation in logistics. I.AM will speed up the take-up and deployment in this domain by validating its progress in three realistic scenarios: a bin-to-belt application demonstrating object tossing, a bin-to-bin application object fast boxing, and a case depalletizing scenario demonstrating object grabbing.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 1 008 692,00
5612 AE Eindhoven

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Zuid-Nederland Noord-Brabant Zuidoost-Noord-Brabant
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 008 692,00

Participants (8)