Artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced robotics are opening new horizons in all sectors of industry, both in terms of developing new manufacturing techniques and redefining the interaction between human workers and automated tools.
A CORDIS Results Pack has presented the first innovative results of thirteen Horizon 2020 projects that are pioneers in the implementation of AI applications in the industry.
“Industry 5.0” is a term that has been gaining momentum in recent years. Its broad definition represents a major shift within industrial production towards a much closer and more interrelated cooperation between humans and machines. This transition is strongly influenced by the spectacular growth of advanced robotics and AI, and therefore provides excellent opportunities for Europe.
Harnessing the benefits of AI
The introduction of AI processes into manufacturing offers many positive benefits, such as the development of new industrial processes for both existing and newly emerging industries, with improved production efficiency and the redefinition of the role of human workers as they assume new roles and responsibilities for collaborating with and monitoring the (often repetitive) tasks of their fellow mechanics with AI. Importantly, the use of AI or augmented reality techniques in factories promises to make human roles less dangerous, monotonous and physically demanding.
Supporting the spread of AI in the industry
However, much work remains to be done to completely recondition and adapt European industry to these new technologies and consequently to these new opportunities, notwithstanding the fact that Europe is already one of the world’s leading players in the development of AI. The European Commission is therefore dedicated to strengthening Europe’s leadership in the field of AI, considering it an area of strategic importance and a crucial source of future economic growth. The Commission has worked together with the Member States to promote a strategy for genuine collaboration on AI, and has also greatly increased its funding through the Horizon 2020 programme, with a pledge of EUR 1.5 billion for the period 2018-2020, and will continue to fund AI research and applications through the Horizon Europe and Digital Europe programmes.
13 pioneering projects
This CORDIS Results Pack presents thirteen pioneering projects in AI technologies aimed at the secondary sector. Some of the projects presented, such as COROMA and MONSOON, study the ways in which the use of AI tools and advanced manufacturing robots, equipped with sensors and capable of adapting to the manufacturing environment, can increase manufacturing productivity, while other projects, such as Factory2Fit, MANUWORK and THOMAS, study the complementarity and interaction potential of human-robot and robot-machine collaboration. On the other hand, GO0D MAN and SERENA, also explore the possibility of using AI-based tools to optimise the production process in terms of more efficient maintenance and defect-free manufacturing. Finally, other projects, such as ResiBots, have focused their work on customised production and even on the development of resilient robots.