The State-of-the-Art of Robotics in Europe

A special issue of Robotics (ISSN 2218-6581).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2023) | Viewed by 20595

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Systems and Robotics, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Coimbra, 3030-​290 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: multi-robot systems; cooperative robotics; multi-sensor data fusion; SLAM; intelligent robotics; service robotics
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Guest Editor
CNRS Researcher, Institut de Neurosciences de la Timone-Aix-Marseille Université, 13385 Marseille, France
Interests: social cognitive neuroscience; fMRI; human-robot interaction; spsychiatry; autism
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Center for Life Science Automation, University Rostock, F.-Barnewitz-Str. 8, 18119 Rostock (D), Germany
Interests: life science automation; robotics; smart sensor systems; mobile robotics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays, robotics is developing at a much faster pace than ever in the past, both inside and outside industrial environments. Service robotics, surgical and rehabilitation robotics, assistive robotics, and other novel application fields are becoming more and more significant, not only from technological and economical viewpoints, but also in terms of their daily life and social implications. Even the implementation and role of robots in production lines and other traditional frames is being widely revised, since robots are rapidly changing from slave devices working inside cages and doing repetitive tasks under the assumption of a deterministic workspace to cyber-physical systems in the industry 4.0 framework where they work alongside human workers and collaborate with them in an uncertain dynamic workspace.

In this context, research on robot artificial perception, probabilistic modeling and reasoning, artificial intelligence, learning, human-robot interaction and collaboration, affective computing, natural language interaction, multi-robot cooperation, compliance control, and dexterous manipulation is going to play an increasingly central role.

This Special Issue aims at disseminating the latest research achievements, findings, and ideas in the robotics field, with particular attention to the Europe scenario. However, manuscripts that present results of national and international projects will be also welcome to this special issue.

We welcome you to send short abstract for feature paper submissions to the Editorial Office ([email protected]) before the formal submission of your manuscript. Selected planned papers can be published in full open access form, Free-of-Charge, if they are accepted after peer-review.

Prof. Dr. Rui P. Rocha
Prof. Dr. Oscar Reinoso García
Dr. Thierry Chaminade
Prof. Dr. Kerstin Thurow
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Robotics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 10299 KiB  
Article
Optimal Design and Experimental Validation of a Cable-Driven Parallel Robot for Movement Training of the Head–Neck Joint
by Alizée Koszulinski, Ferdaws Ennaiem, Juan Sandoval, Lotfi Romdhane and Med Amine Laribi
Robotics 2023, 12(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics12010018 - 25 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1825
Abstract
The optimal design and the experimental validation of a cable-driven parallel robot is discussed in this paper. This novel device is intended for assisting therapists in the rehabilitation of the head–neck joint. First, the motion of the head–neck joint was recorded by means [...] Read more.
The optimal design and the experimental validation of a cable-driven parallel robot is discussed in this paper. This novel device is intended for assisting therapists in the rehabilitation of the head–neck joint. First, the motion of the head–neck joint was recorded by means of a Qualisys motion-capture system. The collected data was then analyzed in order to obtain the range of motion of the head and to identify some prescribed trajectories. A novel end-effector design was proposed to reduce the degrees of freedom needed to perform the desired head motion. The best design was found through an optimization problem where the cable tensions are minimized and the robot dexterity is maximized within its workspace. The objective of this optimization was to find the optimal actuator positions while satisfying a set of constraints. A prototype was proposed and experimental tests were conducted to validate the robot performance. In particular, a comparison between the actual trajectories and the desired ones was performed. The experimental test showed promising results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The State-of-the-Art of Robotics in Europe)
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Review

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27 pages, 2606 KiB  
Review
Industrial Robots in Mechanical Machining: Perspectives and Limitations
by Mantas Makulavičius, Sigitas Petkevičius, Justė Rožėnė, Andrius Dzedzickis and Vytautas Bučinskas
Robotics 2023, 12(6), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics12060160 - 24 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3074
Abstract
Recently, the need to produce from soft materials or components in extra-large sizes has appeared, requiring special solutions that are affordable using industrial robots. Industrial robots are suitable for such tasks due to their flexibility, accuracy, and consistency in machining operations. However, robot [...] Read more.
Recently, the need to produce from soft materials or components in extra-large sizes has appeared, requiring special solutions that are affordable using industrial robots. Industrial robots are suitable for such tasks due to their flexibility, accuracy, and consistency in machining operations. However, robot implementation faces some limitations, such as a huge variety of materials and tools, low adaptability to environmental changes, flexibility issues, a complicated tool path preparation process, and challenges in quality control. Industrial robotics applications include cutting, milling, drilling, and grinding procedures on various materials, including metal, plastics, and wood. Advanced robotics technologies involve the latest advances in robotics, including integrating sophisticated control systems, sensors, data fusion techniques, and machine learning algorithms. These innovations enable robots to adapt better and interact with their environment, ultimately increasing their accuracy. The main focus of this study is to cover the most common industrial robotic machining processes and to identify how specific advanced technologies can improve their performance. In most of the studied literature, the primary research objective across all operations is to enhance the stiffness of the robotic arm’s structure. Some publications propose approaches for planning the robot’s posture or tool orientation. In contrast, others focus on optimizing machining parameters through the utilization of advanced control and computation, including machine learning methods with the integration of collected sensor data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The State-of-the-Art of Robotics in Europe)
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33 pages, 1617 KiB  
Review
COBOT Applications—Recent Advances and Challenges
by Claudio Taesi, Francesco Aggogeri and Nicola Pellegrini
Robotics 2023, 12(3), 79; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics12030079 - 4 Jun 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 5939
Abstract
This study provides a structured literature review of the recent COllaborative roBOT (COBOT) applications in industrial and service contexts. Several papers and research studies were selected and analyzed, observing the collaborative robot interactions, the control technologies and the market impact. This review focuses [...] Read more.
This study provides a structured literature review of the recent COllaborative roBOT (COBOT) applications in industrial and service contexts. Several papers and research studies were selected and analyzed, observing the collaborative robot interactions, the control technologies and the market impact. This review focuses on stationary COBOTs that may guarantee flexible applications, resource efficiency, and worker safety from a fixed location. COBOTs offer new opportunities to develop and integrate control techniques, environmental recognition of time-variant object location, and user-friendly programming to interact safely with humans. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning systems enable and boost the COBOT’s ability to perceive its surroundings. A deep analysis of different applications of COBOTs and their properties, from industrial assembly, material handling, service personal assistance, security and inspection, Medicare, and supernumerary tasks, was carried out. Among the observations, the analysis outlined the importance and the dependencies of the control interfaces, the intention recognition, the programming techniques, and virtual reality solutions. A market analysis of 195 models was developed, focusing on the physical characteristics and key features to demonstrate the relevance and growing interest in this field, highlighting the potential of COBOT adoption based on (i) degrees of freedom, (ii) reach and payload, (iii) accuracy, and (iv) energy consumption vs. tool center point velocity. Finally, a discussion on the advantages and limits is summarized, considering anthropomorphic robot applications for further investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The State-of-the-Art of Robotics in Europe)
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28 pages, 2248 KiB  
Review
Indoor Positioning Systems of Mobile Robots: A Review
by Jiahao Huang, Steffen Junginger, Hui Liu and Kerstin Thurow
Robotics 2023, 12(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics12020047 - 24 Mar 2023
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 8633
Abstract
Recently, with the in-depth development of Industry 4.0 worldwide, mobile robots have become a research hotspot. Indoor localization has become a key component in many fields and the basis for all actions of mobile robots. This paper screened 147 papers in the field [...] Read more.
Recently, with the in-depth development of Industry 4.0 worldwide, mobile robots have become a research hotspot. Indoor localization has become a key component in many fields and the basis for all actions of mobile robots. This paper screened 147 papers in the field of indoor positioning of mobile robots from 2019 to 2021. First, 12 mainstream indoor positioning methods and related positioning technologies for mobile robots are introduced and compared in detail. Then, the selected papers were summarized. The common attributes and laws were discovered. The development trend of indoor positioning of mobile robots is obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The State-of-the-Art of Robotics in Europe)
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