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Past

HR-Recycler work of CERTH/ITI at the IEEE 2019 Smart World Congress

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A scientific paper about the general concept and the system architecture of the HR-Recycler project presented at the 2019 IEEE Smart World Congress that held at Leicester of UK on 19-23 of August 2019.

The paper entitled “A hybrid human-robot collaborative environment for recycling electrical and electronic equipment” presented by Dr. Ioannis Kostavelis and aroused the interest of the audience, initiating a constructive discussion regarding the role of robots in challenging industrial environments for the recycling tasks of WEEE.

HR-Recycler participation in “Industrial Human Robot Collaboration” projects cluster

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HR-Recycler participated in a Workshop on the Cluster of “Industrial Human Robot Collaboration” projects that took place in Brussels, on 1st July 2019.

The workshop was organized by the European Commission (Bram Vanderborght, Andrea Ceglia, Laszlo Hetey and Jurgen Tiedje) and its aim was to prepare a publicly available policy report illustrating the potential benefits of funding research and innovation on robotics, identify emerging technology trends, environmental, economic and societal impacts. This report will be presented at European Research and Innovation Days in Brussels, from 24 to 26 September 2019 (https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/events/upcoming-events/european-research-and-innovation-days_en).

The following projects of the Cluster of “Industrial Human Robot Collaboration” participated:

The workshop started with a short presentation of each project of the Cluster, presented by each project’s representative. Each presentation included the motivation, main goal and objectives of the project, the consortium and a brief description of the proposed technical solution and the related Use Cases.

The next part of the workshop included the Technological Analysis. More specifically, the current Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) achieved by the current research projects in this area were analysed and the challenges for high TRL levels were discussed. Regarding integration/implementation issues the following aspects were discussed: Standards (if sufficiently developed and translated in good practices), Certification (how it is done, if it can be done for a wide range of applications, etc.), Interoperability (how it is implemented), Benchmarking and Reproducibility of scientific research.

Another interesting point of discussion was the industrial and economic impact, where several issues were analysed. New business models arise when moving from traditional industrial robots to collaborative robots, while the economic viability of investing in robots that collaborate with human workers has been extensively studied. Other issues include the targeted increase of productivity (e.g. time, quality, resources, working conditions), barriers to valorization, the potential challenges for startups, targeting liability and intellectual property. Finally, the role of Digital Innovation Hubs was discussed.

Last but not least, the Social Impact by moving from traditional industrial robots to collaborative robots was discussed. It is of high importance to ensure that the use of Human-Robot Collaboration in industry is able to improve working conditions and increase the amount of jobs. Ethical aspects were also discussed (ethics screening, job loss, handling of privacy, position of women).

The importance of EU collaborative projects was stressed, as well as potential improvements on how subsequent public or private investments can put in place the technologies that result from these projects.

The importance of EU collaborative projects was stressed, as well as potential improvements on how subsequent public or private investments can put in place the technologies that result from these projects.

What is also important is to place the initiative more at end-user companies that have specific needs, instead of EU research centers.

3rd plenary meeting in Spain

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The 11 partners of HR-Recycler met in Barcelona, Spain for their 3rd plenary meeting.

The HR-Recycler partners were hosted in Barcelona, Spain by partner Institute for BioEngineering of Catalonia (IBEC) for their 3rd plenary meeting. Among the many decisions that had to be made, the most important of them related to the following topics:

  • The need to clarify user needs associated with the whole procedure and how this important input will be elucidated.
  • What will be the final spatial configuration of all the hardware, i.e. robotic equipment, cameras, etc. participating in the project both on factory level and on cell level perception.
  • Finalizing a capturing framework which will provide all the necessary details regarding the video capturing process taking place at each end user’s premises allowing technical partners CERTH and SDK to train their Deep Learning modules.

2nd plenary meeting in Portugal

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The 11 partners of HR-Recycler met in Portugal for their 2nd plenary meeting.

Interecycling – Sociedade de Reciclagem, S.A. was the first end user to host one of the consortium’s meetings. All partners gathered at Santiago de Besteiros and discussed the project’s progress. Initial discussions about the robotic functionalities, use cases and pilots took place which lead to the realization of the difficult road ahead. The consortium also came to some tentative agreements regarding the use case scenarios and the devices that each end user will be tasked with handling during the pilots.

Kick-off Meeting in Greece

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The 11 partners of HR-Recycler met in Thessaloniki, Greece to officially launch the project.

Having been awarded a grant of €6,986,573 from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 fund, the 13 partners involved met in Thessaloniki for a kick-off meeting in December 2018.

The meeting was a chance for all the partners to meet face-to-face for the first time, to learn about what each other does, to go over the overall plan for the HR-Recycler project, and to discuss the next steps that need to be taken. Each partner gave a presentation to the rest of the consortium to explain their own aims, plans and expected outcomes for the project.

All of the partners left with a clear sense of the road ahead, and the work they need to focus on over the next few months.