Dissemination of the Hop technology has become a priority for the team now that Hop is actually used to develop large projects. In 2012, a further step was taken with the allocation of dedicated resources missioned to develop and transfer the application portfolio to the industry. The team has focused on bringing web awareness to personal assistance robots developed by the Hephaistos team, also at Inria CRISAM, in line with one of the top strategic orientations of Inria. Using web protocols as a native framework greatly simplifies the integration of the robot as a web entity, and the use of remote web services to manage, monitor or extend the features of the robot. The behavior of a Hop robot is specified in Hop and orchestrated within diffuse Hop run time agents embedded within the robot elements, in charge of handling communication and control between platforms and with remote web services. The project, code-named WebRobotics, builds on the experience gained in using Hop for home automation over the recent years, adding in 2013 the support of versatile robotic computing platforms (integration with the ROS robot framework, development of a lightweight Hop client library providing support of web protocols to legacy software components). Among the direct benefits of relying on a web framework are the ability to use any web enabled device such as a smartphone or tablet to drive the robot. Also, it is much simpler to put in place remote diagnostic and monitoring services by leveraging on existing robot sensors and the Hop framework.
The WebRobotics project is now part of the RAPP FP7 european project, launched in December 2013, where Hop technology is used by several academic and SME R&D teams to develop a distributed software platform and applications for assistive robotics. Two prototypes are being developed, the first one is a personal coach robot (a Nao humanoid robot embedding Hop distributed applications), and the second one is a smart rollator (a walking aid with additional hardware and software services for rehabilitation, training and activity monitoring. The rollator hardware and robotic components are provided by Inria Hephaistos). In 2013, Indes has initiated a collaboration with other research teams (Inria STARS, Nice University Cobtek Project) and local institutes and SMEs to foster the development distributed monitoring and supervision applications with the Hop technology.
Indes has presented Hop applications for robots at the Lille Inria Industry conference day in November 2014.