R5-COP logo

R5-COP at a glance


 Project manager:  Dr. Rainer Buchty
 Institution:  TU Braunschweig


 Begin - End:  02/2014 - 01/2017
 Total investment:  13.1 M€
 Participating organisations:  30 (initially 31)
 European countries involved:
 12 (initially 13)


Executive summary

R5-COP focuses on agile manufacturing paradigms and specifi-cally on modular robotic systems. Based on existing and newly developed methods for a formal modeling of hardware and soft-ware components, R5-COP will support model-based design, engineering, validation, and fast commissioning. Using existing interface and middleware standards R5-COP will strongly facilitate integration of components from various suppliers.

Contribution to SRA

R5-COP will be providing a platform and toolset containing methods, algorithms, prototypes, and living labs solutions for cross-domain reusability, scalability, and open interface standards for robotic and autonomous systems. It will contribute to the ARTEMIS repository by connecting to other ASP and AIPP initia-tives to ensure long-term sustainability and impact towards society. Key results of R5-COP will be demonstrated in a set of show-cases, displaying high relevance to industrial and manufacturing issues and cross-domain applicability. Regarding interoperability, R5-COP will also contribute to establishing a standard for robust, reliable reconfigurable robot systems using common inter-faces in a certification and safety context, which entails conformity to both, domain-specific standards and international domain-independent standards. By enabling use of highly flexible robots in safety-critical (fenceless) environments, the project fosters a significant increase in market potential. The actual impact of R5-COP will be evaluated against its influences on the standards, scientific-technological viewpoints towards reconfiguration in SMEs, and paradigm change towards using reliable, safe, and easy reconfigurable robotics.

Market innovation & impact

European manufacturing industry faces increasing requests for high product variance, small product series, shorter production cycles, and cost reduction. However, fewrobotic components are designed for easy adaptation and reuse. R5-COP focuses on agile manufacturing para-digms and specifically on modular robotic systems to over-come the shortcomings of existing solutions. We start by identifying and extending suitable existing methods and, where required, developing new ones to formally model hardware and software components. This approach will support model-based design, engineering, validation, and fast commissioning. Furthermore, using existing interface and middleware standards such as ROS, R5-COP will strongly facilitate integration of components from various suppliers.
Such a modular approach will not only be more flexible than state-of-the-art solutions, but will also reduce design, setup, and maintenance costs. As flexible use of robots includes their close cooperation with humans, robustness and safety are crucial requirements which will be assured by dedicated verification and validation metho-dologies. The formal specification framework will support com¬po¬nent suppliers in efficiently verifying and certifying their modules.
This project will help to identify and develop reconfigurable key hardware and software components, and to show the feasibility and capability of the approach in living labs in manufacturing and service demonstrator environments.

Relevance & Contributions to Call 2013 Objectives

The R5-COP project addresses the ARTEMIS sub programmes ASP4 ("Embedded Systems for manufacturing and process automation"), ASP1 ("Methods and processes for safety-relevant embedded systems"), and ASP5 ("Computing platforms for embedded systems").
Of ASP4, it specifically addresses: improved methods and technologies for automation model life cycle management; on-line real time quality assurance of measurement data; robustness of sensor and actuator technology, e.g calibration, energy harvesting, and disposability; automation system human/user interface context awareness and information timing; automated device configuration. Due to the delicate nature of robot and automation systems, there is strong focus on safety and security. Hence, the project also specifically addresses core ASP1 topics: requirement management; architecture modelling and exploration; analysis methods; component-based design, particularly building reliable systems out of unreliable components. Technology-wise, it is closely tied to work in the field of ASP5, especially with respect to complex distributed heterogeneous systems supporting real-time awareness, safety protection, and cyber-physical properties such as complex real-time sensor-data fusion. We aim to target ASP 5's main goal of enabling an increase of cross-domain re-use and interoperation, thus leading to lower costs of ownership and wider applicability. R5-COP also covers aspects of ASP8 with respect to human-centered design of human/machine interfaces, object recognition, scene analysis, real-time image processing, and cognitive assistance. It is motivated by usage scenarios from ASP2, ASP3, and ASP6.

R&D Innovation and technical excellence

The main objective of the R5-COP project is to provide the means for a fast and flexible
adaption of robots to quickly changing environments and conditions to enable a safe and direct human/robot cooperation and interaction at an industrial scale. To overcome the shortcomings of existing robotic solutions, it focuses on the following objectives:

  1. Enabling fast and flexible re-composition of software and hardware components of robotic systems, and ensuring their robust and safe operation through modular design of the components with formalized specifications and standardized interfaces
  2. Enabling standardized yet simple design and implementation of software components through using ROS industrial for software deployment and SDKs for software development.
  3. Enabling standardized yet flexible (re)configuration using ontologies of configurable components for modeling hardware, and modeling applications on an app or skill level
  4. Ensuring robust perception using advanced reconfigurable sensor systems modules
  5. Supporting component and system certification for safe human/robot cooperation using dedicated V&V techniques
  6. Identifying, modeling, developing, and evaluating key hardware and software components using dedicated use-cases from industrial and service domains.