Conjure up the image of smart factories that deploy intelligent robots that can learn, think, and act like humans. This inevitably entails high levels of robotic automation: robots that can perform tasks that are not so meticulously preplanned, take decentralized decisions, and perform real-time motion planning. This was the vision of the EU-funded Co4Robots project (“Achieving Complex Collaborative Missions via Decentralized Control and Coordination of Interacting Robots”; http://www.co4robots.eu): factories of the future with multiple robots and humans working together safely and productively on common tasks, such as item pickup, transport, and delivery. The main challenge Co4Robots addressed was the efficient coordination of robots with different actuation, manipulation, and perception capabilities.
- Co4Robots project