CORDIS - EU research results

Acquiring assembly skills by robot learning

Project description

Validating an autonomous robot skill learning system

With robotics technologies advancing fast, numerous sectors are embracing these new devices. One of these is the industrial sector that benefits from industrial robots which have been built to automatically repeat several tasks thousands of times. What about programming robots to perform one complex motor task? Unfortunately, this is challenging and remains time-consuming and expensive. The EU-funded AssemblySkills project aims to overcome this challenge by validating an autonomous skill learning system that would allow industrial robots to obtain a multitude of motor skills at lower cost and in less time.


Present-day industrial robots are made for the purpose of repeating several tasks thousands of times. What the
manufacturing industry needs instead is a robot that can do thousands of tasks, a few times. Programming a robot to solve
just one complex motor task has remained a challenging, costly and time-consuming task. In fact, it has become the key
bottleneck in industrial robotics. Empowering robots with the ability to autonomously learn such tasks is a promising
approach, and, in theory, machine learning has promised fully adaptive control algorithms which learn both by observation
and trial-and-error. However, to date, learning techniques have yet to fulfil this promise, as only few methods manage to
scale into the high-dimensional domains of manipulator robotics, or even the new upcoming trend of collaborative robots.
The goal of the AssemblySkills ERC PoC is to validate an autonomous skill learning system that enables industrial robots to
acquire and improve a rich set of motor skills. Using structured, modular control architectures is a promising concept to scale
robot learning to more complex real-world tasks. In such a modular control architecture, elemental building blocks – called
movement primitives, need to be adapted, sequenced or co-activated simultaneously. Within the ERC PoC AssemblySkills,
our goal is to group these modules into an industry-scale complete software package that can enable industrial robots to
learn new skills (particularly in assembly tasks). The value proposition of our ERC PoC is a cost-effective, novel machine
learning system that can unlock the potential of manufacturing robots by enabling them to learn to select, adapt and
sequence parametrized building blocks such as movement primitives. Our approach is unique in the sense that it can
acquire more than just a single desired trajectory as done in competing approaches, capable of save policy adaptation,
requires only little data and can explain the solution to the robot operator.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
64289 Darmstadt

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Hessen Darmstadt Darmstadt, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Beneficiaries (1)