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Challenging new applications for autonomous robotics

By 15 march

Track: Autonomy /collaborative and cloud

Date and Time: 15 Mar 2024 14:50-16:10

Organisers: Francisco Blanes, Paul Chippendale, Stefan Leutenegger

Main questions to be answered: How can autonomous robots be applied and implemented in real-world agroforestry applications that encompass tasks difficult to automate and where speed and versatility are essential?

Additional questions: How can robots navigate through extremely challenging natural environments in a trustworthy way?

Additional questions 2: How can robots be comprehensively made aware of what nearby human-workers are doing in outdoor agroforestry scenarios?

Workshop Description: Autonomous robots in many challenging agroforestry applications are underused, being regarded as expensive hi-tech tools with limited autonomy and intelligence that can only relieve workers of physical fatigue or repetitive tasks in large-scale and highly unstructured and unknown areas (e.g. robotic tractors or hydroponics). To overcome these and other negative preconceptions, we must show how robots (aerial, land, and underwater) can learn to navigate and operate in environments that are highly complex, dense and rapidly changing and how they are able to make joint decisions with fellow human-workers. In agroforestry scenarios which have tasks that are difficult to automate, and where speed and versatility are essential, competence, robustness and safety perception are also fundamental. Another adoption barrier that impedes deployment is the skill requirement of workers to operate such robots. In this workshop, we will explore these topics via early results, insights and challenges coming from Horizon Europe projects and experts in the field that are trying to solve different challenges and improve capabilities. Expected Outcomes: 1. Trigger information exchanges between academia and industry (end users) about the challenges and emerging autonomous robotic solutions; 2. A position/white paper stemming from the results of the workshop; 3. Identify specific collaboration actions between ongoing projects at EU, national and international levels.

Intended Outcome: Workshop discussion topics of common interest, success stories, use cases, etc, Workshop on recent developments in technology or applications, Workshop expected to create a roadmap or white paper

Approach: 00:00 – 00:03 Opening comments by the organizers 00:03 – 00:50 5 impulse talks 00:50 – 01:15 Panel discussion (5 speakers as panelists) with interactions with the audience 01:15 – 01:20 Concluding remarks by the organizers

Contributors: 1. Jens Behley (male), University of Bonn, Germany (University) – LiDAR-based tree trait extraction for forestry management – Project: DIGI-FOREST 2. Micael Couceiro (male), Ingeniarius, Portugal (SME) – Human-Aware Collaborative Robots in the Wild. Project: FEROX 3. Isibor Kennedy Ihianle (male), Department of Computing and Technology, Nottingham Trent University. Project: SMART BERRY 4. Tjark Schutte Leibniz (male), Institut für Agrartechnik und Bioökonomie Safe and robust – 3D mapping for soft collision prediction of autonomous mobile robots in orchards. Project: SMART4ALL 5. Martin Pierre Francois Jacquet (male), Norwegian University of Science and Technology. “Learning for sensor-based navigation in forest environment”. Project: DIGI-FOREST

Further Information:

EuroCore repository – a vehicle for transferability in Robotics

By 15 march

Track: Regulation and Standardisation

Date and Time: 15 Mar 2024 14:50-16:10

Organisers: Uwe Köckemann, Michael Beetz, Rebecca Schedl-Warpup, Giang Hoang Nguyen

Main questions to be answered: What are the software tools and common infrastructure needed for implementing transferable robotic solutions?

Workshop Description: The main vehicle intended for transfer within the euROBIN project is the EuroCore repository. It will be built on the AI on Demand Platform funded by the EC and it is intended to become a tool used by the entire robotics community. It is also the central tool used to involve the upcoming cascade funding partners. Besides an infrastructure to host and curate a list of open source code, data and documentation, EuroCore will also provide an infrastructure. Building upon ROS and Open Ease, which to allow practical transfer of models and methods on robot systems. The workshop will present the general intent and structure of the EuroCore and will go into practical implementation aspects for integrating transferable solutions on different robot systems. The workshop will have the very practical goal of discussing the concepts and infrastructure for the hackathon on transferable robotics which will be held at the Humanoids Conference in Nov. 2024 in Nancy.

Intended Outcome: Workshop expected to create a roadmap or white paper, Information about community involvement and services offered (e.g. DIHs, open calls, platforms, …)

Approach: – Presentation of the EuroCore concept based on the AI on Demand Platform by Uwe Köckemann. – Presentation of the Virtual Research Building concept by Michael Beetz. – Discussion in the form of a brainwalk to collect ideas and involve the community.

Safe adaptation for long term autonomy and human robot interaction

By 15 march

11:40 – 11:44   
Challenges in situation understanding and scene perception
Razane Azrou, Selma Kchir, Raphaël Lallement and Matteo Morelli

11:44 – 11:48   
Modeling Robot Control Architectures for Verification and Monitoring
Stefano Bernagozzi, Angelo Ferrando, Enrico Ghiorzi, Lorenzo Natale, and Armando Tacchella

11:48 – 11:52   
Intuitive Telemanipulation of DLOs Via Vision-Based Shared Control: A Pilot Study
Davide Chiaravalli, Alessio Caporali, Anna Friz, Roberto Meattini and Gianluca Palli

11:52 – 11:56   
Sparse optical sampling in the close proximity of a robotic arm
Martin Laurenzis, Ante Maric, Emmanuel Bacher, Mateusz Pietrzak, Stéphane Schertzer, Francesco Grella, and Sylvain Calinon

11:56 – 12:00   
The CONVINCE Perspective on Task and Motion Planning in Dynamic Environments
Masoumeh Mansouri, Charlie Street, and Yassin Warsame

12:00 – 12:04 
Towards Collaborative Grape Harvesting with a Mobile Manipulator
Edwin Pircher, Giovanni Carabin, Marco Camurri, and Renato Vidoni

12:04 – 12:08  
Reflective Understanding for Dependable Robots Extended abstract
Ricardo Sanz

12:08 – 13:00 
Interactive Poster Session    

Cooperative Autonomous Mobile Robots in Research and Industry

By 15 march

11:40 – 11:44   
Differential games for distributed coordination of multi-agent systems
Domenico Cappello, Fabrizio Schiano

11:44 – 11:48
Replanning for global trajectory generation of UAVs in unknown environments
Leonardo Zacchini, Fabrizio Schiano

11:48 – 11:52
Toward a distribuited Perception-aware Lyapunov-based MPC
Olga Napolitano, Nicola De Carli, Paolo Robuffo Giordano, Lucia Pallottino and Paolo Salaris

11:52 – 11:56
Learning Collaboration in Heterogeneous Multi-Robot Systems
Valeria Sarno, Giorgio Grioli and Lucia Pallottino

11:56 – 12:00
A Unity-ROS 2 simulator for fleet management in smart warehouses
Lorenzo Pichierri, Lorenzo Sforni, Andrea Testa and Giuseppe Notarstefano

12:00 – 12:04
Containerized toolboxes for cooperative mobile robotics in research and industry
Lorenzo Pichierri, Lorenzo Sforni

Interactive Poster Session

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Sustainable Robots by Design: Going beyond TRLs

By 15 march

Track: Sustainability

Date and Time: 15 Mar 2024 11:40-13:00

Organisers: Amit Kumar Pandey, Franziska Kirstein, Sharath Chandra Akkaladevi

Main questions to be answered: How to achieve sustainability by design?

Additional questions: What are the real practical aspects of having a sustainable robotics solution?

Additional questions 2: The roadmapping and community building around sustainable robots and the challenges. What are the frontiers of sustainability?

Workshop Description: Building on the success and insights gained from the previous editions of the workshops series in ERF on “Sustainability and Social Robotics,” this edition represents a natural progression in the series, aiming to further explore and implement the principles of sustainability within the realm of robotics design to ensure more sustainable applications in social space to outer space. The previous workshops highlighted the duality of sustainability and societal applications in social robotics, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive approach. In our upcoming workshop, we will take these discussions to the next level by focusing on how to integrate sustainability into the design and development of robotic systems across various Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) and how to think beyond TRLs based demonstrations. We will delve into the key challenges and opportunities in creating robots that are not just sustainable in their operations but are sustainable and supporting sustainability goals from the very inception of their design. Our objective is to foster collaboration among experts, researchers, and stakeholders to set new standards and best practices for the creation of environmentally and socially responsible robots, addressing the outcome of the previous year while paving the way for a more sustainable future in robotics.

Intended Outcome: Workshop on recent developments in technology or applications, Workshop discussion topics of common interest, success stories, use cases, etc, Workshop expected to create a roadmap or white paper

Approach: 11:40 – 11:45 Opening presentation by the organizers: Scope, Importance and Lesson Learned 11:45 – 11:55 Opening remarks by Bruno Siciliano, Università di Napoli Federico II, Napoli, Italy Session 1: Theme: The needs to go beyond TRL based on real world use cases 11:55 – 12:10 Impulse talks 12:10 – 12:30 Panel discussion with Audience Engagement Session 2: Theme : New framework for sustainable robot design 12:30 – 12:45 Impulse talks 12:45 – 13:00 Panel discussion with Audience Engagement 13:00 Conclusion and Action Items

Contributors: Speakers and/or Panelists: Antonio Sgorbissa, Università degli Studi of. Genova, Italy – “Cultural-awareness for Sustainable uses cases of Social Robots” Bipin Indurkhya, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland Barbara Sienkiewicz, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland – “Social Inclusion and Robotics” Francesco Ferro, PAL Robotics, Spain – “Industrial Practices on Sustainable Robot Design” Michel Joop van der Schoor, Belgium, Vrije Universiteit Brussel/FARI: “Design for Sustainability: Changing the inception of Robots” Shirley Elprama, Belgium, Vrije Universiteit Brussel SMIT: “Reflections on sustainable exoskeletons” Anneli Roose, Civitta, Estonia – “Societal Readiness Level – going beyond TRL lesson from Robotics4EU project”

Facing the new era of transportation: Processing of EV batteries

By 15 march

Track: Sustainability

Date and Time: 15 Mar 2024 11:40-13:00

Organisers: Tomi Pitkäaho, Nestor Garcia, Enrico Villagrossi, Maria Ruottinen

Main questions to be answered: How feasible are AI and robotics for the disassembly of EV batteries ?

Additional questions: How XR technology and Digital twins enable physical hardware interaction in the training of a robotic operator?

Additional questions 2: Is more sustainable mobility achieved through efficient repurposing and recycling of EV batteries?

Workshop Description: The workshop explores AI-driven autonomous disassembly of used EV batteries to overcome safety hazards and inefficiencies inherent in manual labor. We present solutions utilizing commercial robots and novel software, with machine learning and digital twins optimizing the dismantling process dynamically. Task and motion planning are discussed as an essential part of the dynamic disassembly of battery packs. Sensor fusion technologies enhance safety and efficiency, offering preemptive hazard detection, while innovative training environments leverage XR technology to foster skill development in operators, facilitating adaptive and optimized dismantling strategies. We underscore the economic and environmental dividends of this shift, highlighting enhanced safety, reduced labor costs, and a sustainable recycling process, aiming to foster a greener future.

Intended Outcome: Workshop on recent developments in technology or applications, Workshop discussion topics of common interest, success stories, use cases, etc

Approach: Due to challenges related to the autonomous disassembly of used EV batteries, recycling is typically a work of manual labor. However, the disas- sembly phase of end-of-life or damaged EV batteries exposes human work- ers to potential hazards such as toxic chemicals, fire, electric arcs, and high voltages. Robotized disassembly is an option for manual labor; however, au- tonomous disassembly is challenging due to variations in the EV battery’s mechanical condition, physical shape, and methods utilized during the as- sembly. We introduce concepts for the robotized dismantling of challenging EV batteries. Mechanically, the solutions are based on commercially available industrial robots, while the partners of this workshop develop the software solutions. Artificial intelligence is at the heart of each presented solution, connecting seamlessly to the robot controller. Digital twins of the disman- tling cells optimize the battery dismantling trajectories in the background while cells work on physical batteries. We present machine learning algorithms to enhance the capabilities of robotic dismantling systems. Presented interactive teaching techniques, ad- vice, and real-life examples of simulating the dismantling process and train- ing the AI to dismantle new battery types and optimize the trajectories for known battery types. The robots can learn to anticipate potential issues, adjust their movements accordingly, and improve overall performance by training the AI models on a large dataset of battery disassembly scenarios. The use of advanced Task and Motion planning algorithms is mandatory to cope with the variability of battery packs and the presence of a team of robots cooperating on the disassembly tasks. Even in this case, machine learning techniques drive the research activities for releasing flexible and effective solutions that are reliable for industrial adoption. Sensor fusion is an essential part of creating efficient and safe disman- tling cells. Various sensors in the dismantling cells enable early detection of hazards by signaling the cell operator about hot or leaking battery cells inside the battery assembly being dismantled. By detecting the temperature and voltage of the battery and various gases inside the cell enables efficient detection of potential hazards. We discuss the importance of data collec- tion and analysis during the robotic dismantling process. By gathering data on the disassembly steps, robot movements, and battery conditions, we can continuously improve the efficiency and safety of the dismantling operation. This data-driven approach allows for a better understanding of the chal- lenges and potential optimizations in the disassembly process. We introduce an interactive teaching factory approach to dismantling, including digital twins of the dismantling cells, XR training environments, and autonomous robot programming systems. The AI algorithms continu- ously learn from the operators’ actions and feedback, allowing for adaptive and optimized dismantling strategies. By leveraging virtual and augmented reality, operators can train in a safe and controlled environment, increasing their knowledge and skills in dismantling different battery types. Finally, we address the economic and environmental benefits of imple- menting robotic dismantling systems in the recycling industry. By automat- ing the disassembly process, we can increase safety and significantly reduce the labor costs associated with dismantling and recovering valuable materi- als from used EV batteries more efficiently, contributing to the sustainability of the recycling process. By embracing robotic technologies, we can pave the way for a greener and more sustainable future Centria, Tero Kaarlela / Intro and Digital twin of battery dismantling cell. / 10 min. ———————————— Eurecat, Nestor Garcia / Enabling Sustainable Battery Recycling: Harnessing Human-Robot Synergy. / 10 min. ———————————– CNR-STIIMA, Enrico Villagrossi /Robotic autonomous battery pack disassembly: from planning to control. / 10 min. ———————————————— Probot OY, Maria Ruottinen / Benefits and challenges of robotized recycling process. / 10 min. ——————————————— Panel discussion 40 min Ozak Durmus: Ford Otosan, Product Sustainability Leader (Agreed) Matti Tikanmäki: Probot OY, CEO (Agreed) Alireza Rastegarpanah: The University of Birmingham, Senior Robotic Scientist (Agreed) Rana Pant: European Commission, Policy Officer (Agreed)

Contributors: Dr. Tero Kaarlela, Researcher, Centria University, Confirmed, Speaker Dr. Nestor Garcia, Researcher, Eurecat, Confirmed, Speaker Dr. Enrico Villagrossi, Researcher, CNR-STIIMA, Confirmed, Speaker Mrs. Maria Ruottinen, Specialist, Probot OY, Confirmed, Speaker Ozak Durmus: Ford Otosan, Product Sustainability Leader (Panelist, Agreed) Matti Tikanmäki: Probot OY, CEO (Panelist, Agreed) Alireza Rastegarpanah: The University of Birmingham, Senior Robotic Scientist (Panelist, Agreed) Cesar Santos: EC Commission (Panelist, Invited)

Further Information:

Navigating the Unknown

By 15 march

Track: Specific operating environments

Date and Time: 15 Mar 2024 11:40-13:00

Organisers: Abeje Mersha, Kostas Alexis

Main questions to be answered: How can we see through visually degraded hazardous (terrestrial, underwater, space ) environments for accurate and robust localization?,

Additional questions: How can we create consistent and accurate 3D mapping of unknown environments in the presence of non uniform aerial particles using multimodal sensor fusion frameworks?,

Additional questions 2: How can we develop robust and realtime scene understanding in visual degraded environments ?

Workshop Description: Operating in hazardous environments without adequate situational awareness presents substantial challenges for both humans and robots. The foundation of informed decision-making, and the safe and efficient execution of tasks in applications like search and rescue, disaster response, and underground/space exploration relies heavily on robust and reliable perception capabilities. This workshop aims at discussing the current challenges and opportunities related to the state-of-the-art technologies aimed at enhancing situational awareness in visually-degraded and GNSS-denied hazardous environments. Topics of focus include the advancements in robust localization, precise navigation, coherent 3D-mapping, comprehensive scene understanding, and the enhancement of human-robot interfaces.

Intended Outcome: Workshop on recent developments in technology or applications, Novel format (e.g. interactive matchmaking session for technologies and applications)

Approach: 00-05 Introduction by workshop organizers about the focus of the workshop and the program. Brief introduction on the societal challenges in emergency and disaster response, and the potentials of Robot and AI technologies and their limitation. 05-53 Short presentations and Q&A from young experts in the field of advanced perception in various environments (terrestrial, underwater and space) – Daniel Leinder (DLR, Germany) – Benjamin van Manen (Saxion, Netherlands) – Roberto Galeazzi (DTU, Denmark) – Kostas Alexis (NTNU, Norway) 53-75 Panel discussion – on advances in robotics and AI for situational awareness – the challenges and limitations of current technologies, – societal trends that influence and even dictate the direction of technology developments – Possible new project ideas 75-80 Wrap and closing remarks by the organizers.

Contributors: – Daniel Leinder (DLR, Germany) (confirmed) – Benjamin van Manen (Saxion, Netherlands) (confirmed) – Roberto Galeazzi (DTU, Denmark)(confirmed) – Kostas Alexis (NTNU, Norway)(confirmed)

Mobile Manipulation, challenges and opportunities for the community

By 15 march

Track: Maintenance-Inspection

Date and Time: 15 Mar 2024 11:40-13:00

Organisers: Marco Rosa, Javier Alonso Mora

Main questions to be answered: What’s today’s status of the European mobile manipulation market and how can Europe leverage its expertise?

Additional questions: What are the use cases we did not think about yet? Share expertise, success stories, improve synergies across EU funded projects

Additional questions 2: What is the current readiness level and what are the KPIs adapted per application area we should be using to address present and future challenges in the field of mobile manipulation?

Workshop Description: Having gained importance in various applications, from healthcare to agriculture, from logistics to manufacturing, Mobile Manipulation (MM) is nowadays an essential field within robotics. It requires the combination of both mobility and manipulation skills, and its versatility allows multiple uses across different and strategic applications deemed essential for the EU. This workshop will provide a comprehensive overview of MM status today, the market successes and setbacks in the last ten years, the impact the covid pandemic had on its growth prospects, and the challenges it faces on perception, dynamics, object manipulation and HRI. Furthermore, a cluster of new, on-going, and recently concluded Horizon projects in the field of MM are invited to provide their insights and strategic recommendations: namely the projects MANiBOT, HARMONY, AGIMUS, PILLAR, INTERACT, Aerial-CORE and euRobin.

Intended Outcome: Workshop discussion topics of common interest, success stories, use cases, etc

Approach: 80 minute slot Agenda Welcome & Introduction New and on-going projects clustered under MM (5mins * 7 presentations = 35/40mins) Open-ended Q&A, panel session and interactive activity with the audience (40/45mins): Mobile Manipulation: expectations and reality The new market trends in the field of Mobile Manipulation Room setting 1 mic for the audience 1/2 additional mics for the panelists Room setting: panel setting with up to 8 chairs facing the audience

Contributors: Marco Rosa (PAL Robotics) Confirmed / Co-chair Javier Alonso Mora (TUDelft) Confirmed / Panel Chair Georgia Chalvatzaki (TU Darmstadt) Confirmed Stephane Doncieux (Sorbonne University) Confirmed Lionel Ott (ETHZ) Confirmed Antonio Franchi (University of Twente) Confirmed Richard Duro (Universitat a Coruna) Confirmed Francesco Ferro (PAL Robotics) Confirmed / Panelist Vieri Giuliano Santucci (CNR) Confirmed / Panelist Jonas Larson (ABB) Confirmed / Panelist Paulo Alvito (IDMind) Confirmed / Panelist