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Advanced Robotic Technology for Handling Soft Materials

Project SOFTMANBOT: Advanced Robotic Technology for Handling Soft Materials in Manufacturing Sectors 

SOFTMANBOT is an industrial-end-user driven project that will provide an innovative and holistic robotic system for the handling of flexible and deformable materials within labour-intensive production processes.

The robotic system will be composed by three main pillars including:


Robots have been long employed in applications in the automotive industry, since their introduction in this sector in the middle of the last century. From that time on, robotic solutions have been adopted by many other different sectors and diverse applications in the aeronautic sector, electronics, home appliances, food industry, packaging, textile machinery etc. However, nowadays, the adoption of robotic solutions in industrial processes still remains low in a relevant number of sectors that because of the nature of their work (i.e. repetitive tasks, hazardous, etc.) could be ideally a target for this kind of solutions. This fact limits the level of automation in these industries and constrains the potential of growth of these companies, especially in determined sectors such as the textile, shoes or toy industries that need to reduce their production costs and increase the productivity because of the tough competition that they face with products coming from other international markets such as Asia (China, Bangladesh, India, etc.). 


The overall objective of the project is to develop and demonstrate an innovative and universal approach to robotic handling of flexible and deformable materials based on the integration of advanced manufacturing technologies for the automation of contact-based tasks supported by a smart robotic perception system, a multi-sensor planning and control platform and the deployment of intelligent and universally dexterous grippers able to handle soft components with high-levels of robustness and flexibility.

In order to complete the aim of the project, The SOFTMANBOT project will be run over 42 months with a work plan divided into 9 Work Packages.


The expected results are as follows: 

Partnerships and collaborations

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme “Transforming European Industry” under grant agreement nº 869855.

The consortium is composed as follows:

More about SOFTMANBOT: http://softmanbot.eu/

Project members

Véronique Perdereau
Professeur des universités
Faïz Ben Amar
Professeur des Universités
Stéphane Doncieux
Professeur des Universités
Miranda Coninx
Maîtresse de conférences
Elias Hanna
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Ghani Kissoum
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Azad Artinian