Robotics Core Technology

Autonomy in robotic systems is built on a combination of four core technologies:

  • AI and Cognition: AI provides tools to make systems cognitive. Cognition equips robots with the ability to interact with people and environments, to learn and to categorise, to make decisions and to derive knowledge.
  • Cognitive Mechatronics: Mechatronic systems where sensing and actuation are closely coupled with cognitive systems are expected to deliver improved control, motion, interaction, adaptation and learning, and safer systems.
  • Socially cooperative human-robot interaction: Cooperative human-robot interaction is critical in many work environments from collaborative support, e.g. passing tools to a worker, to the design of exo-skeletons able to provide motion that is sympathetic to the user.
  • Model-based design and configuration tools: Deploying robotics at scale in application areas where tasks need to be defined by the user requires easy-to-use configuration tools. Embedding and sharing of knowledge between tools is essential, as is standardisation across the interfaces to connect systems and modules (taking into account cybersecurity issues, including security by design and data integrity).


Proposals should address one of the four core technologies and target the development of core technology modules (modular, open and non-proprietary) and tool kits for use in deployable system platforms that meet the requirements of applications in the following four prioritised application areas: Healthcare, Infrastructure Inspection and Maintenance, Agri-Food and Agile Production. Proposals will be required to dedicate resource for connecting with the DIH actions arising from DT-04-2018.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between €5 million and €10 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact

  • Improved technical capability in each of the core technologies over the current state of the art.
  • A greater range of applications in the prioritised application areas that can be demonstrated at TRL 3 and above.
  • The lowering of technical barriers within the prioritised applications areas.

Delegation Exception Footnote

It is expected that this topic will continue in 2020.

Cross-cutting Priorities

  • Socio-economic science and humanities
  • Contractual Public-Private Partnerships (cPPPs)
  • Robotics
Application date
Humanities : Linguistics
Social sciences : Management and Public administration, Psychology & Cognitive Sciences
Other : Computer science, Physics, mathematics and engineering