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APRIL Project (Multipurpose Robotics for Manipulation of deformable materIals in manufacturing processes)

Robotics is a rapidly evolving technology that enables a transition to a more flexible, digitalized and demand-driven manufacturing sector providing response to the increasing demand for more customized and higher-quality products. Industrial robots exist in a variety of automation modules and offer many capabilities and application possibilities. However, in Europe, there is always a need for low-cost, multipurpose robots that could be put to work in various industries in manufacturing production. In this line, the manipulation of flexible objects in manufacturing environments with minimum deformation to have less distortion and higher accuracy offers a window of opportunity as many of these processes tend to be handled manually during many manufacturing processes.

The APRIL project aims at prototyping low cost and agile market oriented multipurpose, and easy to repurpose, autonomous dexterous robots which will manipulate, assemble or process different soft and flexible products/materials in a production line environment. In that way, this work will develop a new generation of robots to innovate the ways to handle flexible and deformable materials for manufacturing products in European enterprises, enabling new ways of automatization (semi- or fully-automatic tasks) in manufacturing lines. Multi-sensor feedback will be used for robot interaction with their contextual environment, robot manipulation, motion planning, ergonomic enabled human work and safe performance. To underpin robots’ low set-up costs, reduced development effort and faster and scalable deployments, APRIL will transfer learning of many perceptive abilities and skills through easy robot training or repurposing in manufacturing processes at cross-domain level (e.g. food, appliances or passports manufacturing). Moreover, human-robot collaboration will be also explored for the development of the targeted tasks.

One of the strengths of APRIL project is the validation of the final robot system over 6 different use cases under real operative industrial environments, involving different industries (Food, Automation, Passport, Pillows, Home Appliances, Shoes), challenges, tasks, operators and materials. ASINCAR will lead the validation of system for the handling of chicken pieces in the packaging line.

April Project will run for a period of 40 months with a total budget of almost EUR 8 milion provided by the European Commission.

The project is coordinated by the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. The consortium is composed by 15 European partners from 8 EU countries.

 

Press Release

More information and updates: http://aprilproject.eu/

Financiación

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870142