Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

SMEROBOT — Result In Brief

Project ID: 11838
Funded under: FP6-NMP
Country: Germany

Plug-and-produce robots become a reality

A sophisticated robot system can help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) produce goods in a faster, more economical way, upgrading manual solutions and giving a much needed boost to European manufacturing.
Plug-and-produce robots become a reality
Robotised machines, or simply robots, can be of tremendous benefit to SMEs. 'The European robot initiative for strengthening the competitiveness of SMEs in manufacturing' (Smerobot), an EU-funded project, sought to develop a family of versatile cost-effective robots. It aimed to create robots that comprehend 'intuitive' commands, meet safety requirements and integrate rapidly into existing manufacturing environments.

The four-year project conducted intense research and development (R&D) in the field. It demonstrated robot prototypes in various sectors such as the metal and wood industries and conducted training for end users through numerous workshops. Smerobot also disseminated project results through trade fairs, publications and video presentations.

In addition, the system addressed socioeconomic considerations and cost effectiveness through training tools and decision-making tools. It supported end users, developers and system integrators through online interactive training and education.

The robot system proved helpful for businesses in many ways, depending on how it was integrated into the business. Importantly, the system features a training module on human-centred automation assessment which evaluates the implementation strategy for robotic systems. It also comes with customised financing and business models with smart life-cycle costing capabilities to assess the system's economic advantages. In short, the system can compare the costs and benefits of manual vs. robotised SME production solutions, enlightening businesses on its feasibility and advantages. The advantages of such a system to European industry could be tremendous.

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