EC CARE Project
The Coordination Action for Robotics in Europe (CARE) is a project funded by the European Commission (Directorate Information Society and Media) under the 6thFramework Programme (FP6-IST-045058, 01.11.2006 – 31.10.2009).
The objective of CARE is to coordinate actions and initiatives in the field of roboticsin Europe for the first three years of the 7th Framework Programme (FP7). CARE covers the complete robotics picture including industrial, professional service,domestic service, security and space robotics.
The main goal was to develop the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) for robotics inEurope addressing in detail the technological challenges with a strong focus on research & technology cross-fertilisation in order to facilitate the synergies in thecommunity and to optimise the resources. Besides these technical topics, this SRA also addresses the broader impact of advanced robotics on society. To this purposeit considers the legal, social and ethical issues surrounding the introduction of advanced robots that directly interact with their users in everyday humanenvironments.
The SRA establishes a coherent and integrated European robotics research andtechnology development (RTD) strategy, lead by industry and backed by the commitment of the European stakeholders.
The School of Robotics was a CARE partner. In this project, it was the responsible for the WP2, about the Ethical, Legal and Societal (ELS) Issues in Robotics.
Based on concrete product visions, the SRA identifies a set of common application requirements and core technologies that are relevant to all domains. While working on the SRA, the EUROP members noticed the application requirements and robotics technologies are converging and cross-fertilizing between the different robotics domains. Therefore, the upcoming SRA will identify the key strategic research directions and common technological needs of the robotics industries which will enable Europe to develop and maintain its current leading market position.
The potential in the field of robotics in Europe is huge: there are strong robotics and automation suppliers supported by a well networked education and research community. In addition to new solutions for the more traditional large volume manufacturing industries such as the automotive industry, demand will also grow in the large number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Morevoer, increased security needs, the call for extended monitoring of everyday environments, the need for surveillance of buildings and borders can only be managed with the use of robots.
Furthermore, about 300 million households may start employing robots once the robots' more sophisticated abilities allow them to assist in homes and gardens reliably and efficiently. This is of particular interest in the context of Europe’s aging population.