Workshop for European Robotics Forum 2023

Workshop for European Robotics Forum 2023

Human-Robot Collaboration & AI in challenging industrial applications

Collaborative robots (HRC) in many industries are underused, being regarded as expensive hi-tech tools with limited autonomy and intelligence that can only relieve workers of physical fatigue. To overcome these and other negative preconceptions, we must show how robots can learn to understand tasks at hand and how they are able to make joint decisions with fellow human-workers. In industrial scenarios which have tasks that are difficult to automate, and where speed and versatility are essential, competence and safety perception are fundamental. Another adoption barrier that impedes deployment is the skill requirement of workers to operate with robots. In this workshop, we will explore the HRC+AI topic via preliminary results, insights and challenges coming from 5 Horizon Europe projects that are trying to solve different industrial challenges and improve workers’ capabilities.

The program of ERF 2023:

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This workshop will explore 4 research questions:

  • How can HRC+AI be applied and implemented in real-world industrial applications that encompass tasks that are difficult to automate and where speed and versatility are essential?
  • How can workers with limited, or even no experience, in robotics learn how to work with such complex, hybrid robot-human collaborative systems?
  • How can AI enable robots to be comprehensively aware of what human workers are currently doing and also to predict their upcoming actions, to enable more natural, trustworthy and productive interactions with human workers?
  • How can AI endow logistics fleet management systems with resilience capabilities when scheduling hybrid workforce comprising human operators and collaborative mobile robots, in very dynamic and uncertain industrial environments ? 

Expected Outcomes:

  1. Trigger information exchanges between academia and industry (end users) about the challenges and emerging HRC+AI solutions; 
  2. A position/white paper stemming from the results of the workshop;
  3. Identify specific collaboration actions between ongoing projects at EU and national levels.


  1. Four/five keynote speakers from academic research and industry will share their perspectives and experiences in 8-10 minute impulse talks;
  2. A panel session with 6 panelists from academia and industry will discuss with the audience emerging HRC+AI solutions. Topics will focus around workshop questions and will be supported by trigger inputs from the audience via online tools (Mentimeter, Polls, etc). 
  3. The findings of the workshop will be wrapped-up and a summary video published.
00:00 – 00:03 Opening comments by the organizers
00:03 – 00:50 5 impulse talks
00:50 – 01:15Panel discussion (4-6 speakers as panelists) with interactions with the audience
01:15 – 01:20 Concluding remarks by the organizers



  • Sharath Chandra Akkaladevi (male), Profactor GmbH
  • Francisco Fraile (male), CIGIP, UPV 
  • Maria Pateraki (female), ICCS

Invited Speakers (speakers will also take the role of Panelists)

  1. Nacim Ramdani (male), University of Orleans (Academia), France (Horizon project: RESPECT) – “Resilience task scheduling in HRC hybrid fleet management”  
  2. Sharath Chandra Akkaladevi (male), Profactor GmbH (RTO), Austria (Horizon Project: FELICE Flexible Assembly Manufacturing With Human-Robot Collaboration And Digital Twin Models)
  3. Francesco/Francisco Blanes (male), UPV, Spain (Academia) (Horizon projects:AI-PRISM – AI Powered human-centred Robot Interactions for Smart Manufacturing)
  4. Paul Chippendale (male), Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Italy  (Research) (Horizon projects: FEROX, AGILE-HAND) – “Collaborative robots: An extra pair of hands, and eyes”
  5. Baptiste Gradoussoff (Male), CEA, France (Horizon project MERGING – Manipulation Enhancement through Robotic Guidance and Intelligent Novel Gripper)
  6. Markus Ikeda (Male), Profactor GmbH, Austria (Zer0P – Zero Defect Manufacturing für die nachhaltige Produktion / Zero Defect Manufacturing for Sustainable Manufacturing)
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