FET-Flagship “RoboCom”, Robot Companions for Citizens
European welfare is challenged in a range of domains: personal, social, economic, urban and environmental. Major factors behind these challenges are the demographic shift in our population and the increasing global competition in our economy. The RoboCom FET-Flagship initiative will deliver a transformative technology resulting in a novel sustainable welfare: new types of robotic systems, Robot Companions (RCs) that are safe, social, sustainable, skilled and sentient. The robots of today are unable to operate effectively in complex human and natural environments. RoboCom proposes to overcome the current technology bottlenecks by capitalizing on our growing understanding of the most advanced behaving and social “machines” we know: animals. Biological systems, including ourselves, have in fact solved many of the problems contemporary robots face and a new kind of robotics based on similar biological principles will circumvent these bottlenecks. Through understanding the natural principles underlying animal bodies, brains and minds, and their integration in complete organisms, RoboCom will instantiate an integrated multi-disciplinary federated effort and synthesize RCs both as a technology and as a validation of new scientific theories. RCs will be realised through five dedicated platforms, each capturing complementary aspects of the challenge of sustainable welfare: HealthCompanion, ExploreCompanion, WearableCompanion, WorkCompanion, and UniversalCompanion.
Finally, RoboCom will assure the responsible deployment and uptake in society of RCs through a proactive ethics, legal, Open Science and Social Innovation model, and will establish European leadership in their future industrial development.
Coordinating institution: Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy.
Scientific Coordinator: Prof. Paolo Dario, Professor of Biomedical Robotics at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and Senior Researcher at Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy.
Partnership: RoboCom consortium is composed by 73 core partners, mainly universities and research organizations, from 24 European and FP7 Associated countries (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom). A total of about 1000 European scientists will be coordinated by an unprecedentedly synergistic scientific and technological enterprise, aimed at bringing Europe at the leading edge of technology worldwide.
RoboCom Website: http://www.robotcompanions.eu
RoboCom Manifesto: http://robotcompanions.eu/drupal-robocom-files/page-files/RCC_MANIFESTO.pdf
RoboCom on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Robot-Companions-for-Citizens/206272956122457