Section: Partnerships and Cooperations

European Initiatives

FP7 & H2020 Projects


Participants : Jean-Baptiste Mouret, Dorian Goepp, Konstantinos Chatzilygeroudis, Vassilis Vassiliades, Federico Allocati.

  • Title: Robots with animal-like resilience

  • Program: H2020

  • Type: ERC

  • Duration: May 2015 - May 2020

  • Coordinator: Inria

  • Inria contact: Jean-Baptiste Mouret

  • Abstract: Despite over 50 years of research in robotics, most existing robots are far from being as resilient as the simplest animals: they are fragile machines that easily stop functioning in difficult conditions. The goal of this proposal is to radically change this situation by providing the algorithmic foundations for low-cost robots that can autonomously recover from unforeseen damages in a few minutes. The current approach to fault tolerance is inherited from safety-critical systems (e.g., spaceships or nuclear plants). It is inappropriate for low-cost autonomous robots because it relies on diagnostic procedures, which require expensive proprioceptive sensors, and contingency plans, which cannot cover all the possible situations that an autonomous robot can encounter. It is here contended that trial-and-error learning algorithms provide an alternate approach that does not require diagnostic, nor pre-defined contingency plans. In this project, we will develop and study a novel family of such learning algorithms that make it possible for autonomous robots to quickly discover compensatory behaviors. We will thus shed a new light on one of the most fundamental questions of robotics: how can a robot be as adaptive as an animal? The techniques developed in this project will substantially increase the lifespan of robots without increasing their cost and open new research avenues for adaptive machines.


Participants : Serena Ivaldi, Valerio Modugno, Oriane Dermy.

  • Title: Whole-body Compliant Dynamical Contacts in Cognitive Humanoids

  • Program: FP7

  • Instrument: STREP

  • Objective: Cognitive Systems and Robotics (b)

  • Duration: March 2013 - February 2017 (4 years)

  • Coordinator: Francesco Nori (Italian Institute of Technology)

  • Partners: TU Darmstadt (Germany), Université Pierre et Marie Curie (France), Josef Stefan Institue (Slovenia), University of Birmingham (UK)

  • Inria contact: Serena Ivaldi

  • Abstract: The aim of CoDyCo is to advance the current control and cognitive understanding about robust, goal-directed whole-body motion interaction with multiple contacts. CoDyCo will go beyond traditional approaches: (1) proposing methodologies for performing coordinated interaction tasks with complex systems; (2) combining planning and compliance to deal with predictable and unpredictable events and contacts; (3) validating theoretical advances in real-world interaction scenarios. First, CoDyCo will advance the state-of-the-art in the way robots coordinate physical interaction and physical mobility. Traditional industrial applications involve robots with limited mobility. Consequently, interaction (e.g., manipulation) was treated separately from whole-body posture (e.g., balancing), assuming the robot firmly connected to the ground. Foreseen applications involve robots with augmented autonomy and physical mobility. Within this novel context, physical interaction influences stability and balance. To allow robots to surpass barriers between interaction and posture control, CoDyCo will be grounded in principles governing whole-body coordination with contact dynamics. Second, CoDyCo will go beyond traditional approaches in dealing with all perceptual and motor aspects of physical interaction, unpredictability included. Recent developments in compliant actuation and touch sensing allow safe and robust physical interaction from unexpected contact including humans. The next advancement for cognitive robots, however, is the ability not only to cope with unpredictable contact, but also to exploit predictable contact in ways that will assist in goal achievement. Third, the achievement of the project objectives will be validated in real-world scenarios with the iCub humanoid robot engaged in whole-body goal-directed tasks. The evaluations will show the iCub exploiting rigid supportive contacts, learning to compensate for compliant contacts, and utilizing assistive physical interaction.

Collaborations in European Programs, except FP7 & H2020


Participant : François Charpillet.

  • Program: Hubert Curien Partnerships

  • Project acronym: MUROTEX

  • Project title: Multi-agent coordination in robotics exploration and reconnaissance missions

  • Duration: Jan. 2014 – Dec. 2015

  • Coordinator: O. Simonin (INSA LYON)

  • Other partners: Jan Faigl at the Czech Technical University in Prague

  • Abstract: The main objective of the project is to develop a distributed planning framework for efficient task-allocation planning in exploration and reconnaissance missions by a group of mobile robots operating in an unknown environment with considering communication constraints and uncertainty in localization of the individual team members. One main challenge is to decentralize the decision, in order to scaling up with large fleet of robots (existing solutions are centralized or depend on full communication).