Prof. Alessandro Saccon of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), coordinator of the Horizon 2020 Project “Impact-Aware Manipulaiont (I.AM.) presents on the needs to take conctacts into account for every kind of robot interaction with the environment.

The recently introduced class of compliant co-bots can withstand physical interactions with the environment, including impacts, while providing precise sensing and actuation capabilities. I.AM. is utilizing this enabling technology to strengthen European leadership in enabling robots to use intentional impacts for manipulation in warehous scenarios. The I.AM. project focuses on impact-aware manipulation in logistics, a new application area for robotics that is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years due to socio-economic factors such as the boom in e-commerce and the shortage of labor.

While the application areas may differ between the FUTURO group and the I.AM. project, the fundamental issues are very similar. In FUTURO, impacts are considered a particular source of error and therefore relevant to classifying the performance of robot designs. Accordingly, the YIG is very interested in the I.AM. Project and the methods to be developed.

In return, Daniel explained the concepts of the FUTURO Young Investigator Group to an audience at TU/e in the afternoon. This exchange led to a very interesting discussion. For the future, the two groups aim to collaborate on the important topic of contacts and impact on all levels of robotics reasoning.