ICRA 2012  workshop:

"Industry-Academia collaboration in the ECHORD project: a bridge for European robotics innovation"

Friday 18th May 2012 - full day workshop

Meeting Room 8, River Centre Convention Center, St. Paul – Minnesota – USA


Call for papers PDF

Selected articles for oral presentation PDF

Agenda PDF



In order to boost the practical use of robot technology not only in industrial settings, more sophisticated robotic solutions have to be elaborated, particularly in terms of autonomy, flexibility, interactivity and cooperating with human, ease of use, and safety. In order to be able to develop applications on the short-term and to maintain efficient improvement of European robotics in the long term, a better cooperation and technological know-how transfer between robot manufacturers and research institutions is essential. This workshop is composed of two parts:

1-      A presentation session where an overview of the ECHORD experiments will be given by the coordinating partners of ECHORD. Then selected (from ECHORD or external) and invited speakers will present their works (20min per presentation, 15 for presenting and 5 for discussions).

2-      An open discussion session about innovative solutions in and outside ECHORD, future impacts, new applications, limitations and possible improvements, as well as safety concepts.



Alois Knoll, Reinhard Lafrenz and Christophe Simler (Technische Universität München, Germany)

Bruno Siciliano (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Italy)

Norberto Pires (University of Coimbra, Portugal)


Bruno Siciliano, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naple, Italy - Organizer

Christophe Simler, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany - Organizer

Aude Billard, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland - Invited speaker

Jean-Paul Laumond, LAAS-CNRS, Toulouse, France - Invited speaker

In addition, 9 selected speakers will present their works (5 from ECHORD, 4 external)

List of topics


The meta-level topics of the workshop are:

  • Academia-industry collaboration
  • Progress in ECHORD experiments
  • Knowledge transfer opportunities for academia and other initiatives to foster the dialogue within the robotics community
  • Scientific innovations, future impacts, new applications

Besides these meta-level topics, concrete research and application topics will be addressed by the presentations.

The research topics can cover all main aspects of modern robotic systems, such as human-robot interfacing & safety, robot hands & complex manipulation, mobile manipulators & cooperation, hyper-flexible manufacturing cells, cognitive factory, and networked robots.


The applications can be wide-spread: industrial, domestic, medical/health care, agriculture, inspection/monitoring, etc..


The technology can also be diverse: humanoids, body extenders, robot arm manipulators, mobile platforms, mobile manipulators, robot hands, parallel kinematics, or aerial robots.


Motivation and objectives

The goal of the proposed workshop is to strengthen the exchange of knowledge and experience between scientists and practitioners and to inspire the robotics community to form new types of cooperation.


The important collaboration between European robot manufacturers and research institutions in ECHORD will result in significant innovations in many facets of the robotic field. Researchers have the opportunity to design and test their latest algorithms on state of the art equipment provided by robot manufacturers.



The workshop is composed of two parts: an overview and presentation session followed by discussion (part a), and an open discussion session (part b).


a)      Overview and presentation session


A systematic overview of the ECHORD experiments will be given by the coordinating partners of ECHORD. In addition to this general overview, we expect contributions by ECHORD experiments and related work outside ECHORD. We will establish a program committee to select the papers to be presented.


The presentations should focus not only on the scientific innovations, but also on their future impact and possible new applications. Each presentation is followed by a discussion enabling the exchange of ideas and the exploration of new directions.


b)      Open discussion session


The goal of this session is to stimulate deep and interactive open scientific discussions about innovative solutions suggested by ECHORD experimenters, and more generally by the worldwide robotic community. The discussion will also point out some similitude between ECHORD experiments. The discussion will be animated by selected ECHORD experimenters. The following topics could be suggested (discussion is not limited to these topics, but these topics are particularly important in ECHORD):


-       HRI/cognition (off-line programming, modern user interface (ex: high-level task definition, multimodal, cognitive, visual, interactive, easy to use, simulation and CAD tools) and new perception systems + task selection). 

-       Automatic notion planning, control (off-line planning, on-line planning, planning in unstructured and dynamic environment, real-time planning, optimal planning/control, planning under differential (dynamic, nonholonomic) constraints, optimal planning under geometric and differential constraints, probabilistic planning under uncertainties).