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Workshop on Industrial Robots and Sustainability at ERF 2022

In conjunction with the European Robotics Forum 2022, 28th – 30th June 2022, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

The workshop is held on the 28th of June at 14:20 CET during the ERF 2022, see ERF 2022 Programme for more details

This workshop is conducted within the Sustainability Topic Group and theIndustrial Robotics Topic Group of euRobotics.

Robotics for sustainable development is an exciting challenge where research and industry in both developed and developing countries can equally contribute and benefit

Aim and Scope

A large and growing number of manufacturers are realizing substantial financial and environmental benefits from sustainable business practices. Robotics have traditionally played a vital role in mass production for manufacturing industries, focusing on topics such as precision, payload capacity, sensing capabilities and recently, increased use of connectivity, data and AI. Many roboticists are wondering therefore, how can the topic of sustainability be addressed through robotics. Which new applications and deployment models should be devised to improve sustainability in production? These may require new approaches to the design of robots, robot-using systems and IT systems that employ methods of robotics and AI. Robotics for sustainable development is an exciting challenge where research and industry in both developed and developing countries can equally contribute and benefit.

This workshop focuses on how companies can work in a more sustainable way with the help of industrial and collaborative robots. It will explore attendees’ attitudes towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), how they contribute to the SDGs and the challenges they have met or anticipate on their journey towards a more sustainable way of working.

Expected Outcome

This workshop expects an audience from end-users (e.g. companies who are introducing industrial and collaborative robots in their production line) as well as researcher and robotics companies working with these end-users. In the workshop, we aim to discuss the following topics with the audience:

1. Previous experience towards working with the SDGs: Are audience members considering SDGs in their project work? If yes, can they give examples of targets, goals, activities or processes that they have initiated?

2. Why is it important to contribute to the SDGs and work in a more sustainable way? Is it because it brings financial and economic benefits to the company/organization, because regulations require them to work in a more sustainable way or because it is in their belief to contribute to a better world.

3. Challenges in working towards sustainability and the SDGs. How is it possible to balance the interactions of the SDGs, are there situations where they conflict or reinforce each other? Are carbon pricing, costs of energy, etc. started to become a concern? What factors are considered when introducing Industrial robots to support sustainability? Have costs, carbon footprint of robots, etc. been a concern so far?

Expected Outcome:

  • Trigger information exchange between research and industry about the current challenges and possible solutions for sustainable business practises and role of robotics

  • A position paper on the results of the workshop and share it, e.g., with the respective topic group/s. This will also form as a basis for the newly formed TG Group “Robotics for Sustainability and Environmental Aspects”

Invited Speakers

  • Topic Group - General Overview of Sustainability and new TG Franziska Kirstein, Sharath Chandra Akkaladevi

  • Industry - Harald Sehrschön - FILL GmbH

  • Dimitrios Giakoumis, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas

Organisers of the workshop

  • Mathias Brandstötter, Joanneum Research

  • José Saenz, Fraunhofer IFF

  • Sharath Chandra Akkaladevi, Profactor GmbH

  • Franziska Kirstein, Blue Ocean Robotics

The workshop is co-organised within the FELICE project and the Collaborate project.

More information:

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