CTU Acquires a Project for 180 Top Researchers in Robotics and Advanced Industrial Production

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Research into robotics and optimization algorithms at the Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU) will significantly contribute to the transformation of Czech industry and its international competitiveness. The ROBOPROX project with a total budget of CZK 467.9 million was selected among 26 elite projects that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the European Commission will support as part of the call for Excellent Research of the Operational Program Johannes Amos Comenius (OPJAK). ROBOPROX is the only project supported under this call that focuses on research in the field of robotics and industrial informatics. It will develop new methods for advanced industrial production.

„Our main motivation is the growing demands of Czech and European industry for flexibility, which is necessary for companies to be able to respond to the changing and individual requirements of customers and at the same time be able to fully respect the increasing environmental constraints,“ explains prof. Zdeněk Hanzálek from CIIRC CTU, who is principal investigator of the ROBOPROX project, and summarizes: „The ambition is to help the Czech and European economy to move towards flexible, green and competitive production.“

Up to 180 top experts will be involved in the ROBOPROX project. Dozens of new doctoral and postgraduate positions and unique opportunities for talented scientists from the Czech Republic and abroad are opening up. The recruitment of new capacities has already started and will continue over the next few months. To further strengthen international relations, senior researchers who have strong ties to excellent institutions and renowned universities abroad such as LAAS-CNRS Toulouse, TU Delft, DFKI Saarbrücken, University of Southampton, University of Birmingham and many others are contributing as well.

„Thanks to this project, our university will be able to continue its excellent research in the field of robotics. At ROBOPROX, we will combine our expertise and experience and, together with our partners, we will develop new approaches and technologies with an impact on industrial production. We thus have a real opportunity to actively contribute to the transformation of the Czech industry and to the implementation of the priorities of the Innovation Strategy of the Czech Republic,“ emphasizes doc. Vojtěch Petráček, rector of CTU.

The project was prepared in cooperation with the Brno University of Technology (BUT), the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen (UWB) and the VSB – Technical University of Ostrava (VŠB-TUO). At CTU, this is a truly university-wide collaboration. Top researchers and roboticists from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering (FEE), the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (FME), the Faculty of Civil Engineering (FCE), the Faculty of Information Technology (FIT), the Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics (IEAP) and the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC CTU) as the project coordinator participate. The implementation will last until mid-2028.

ROBOPROX will focus on the use of algorithms and optimization methods in the areas of production and logistics planning, energy efficiency, flexible deployment of robots with a high degree of autonomy, safe human-robot collaboration in a limited workspace and the use of drones. Furthermore, it will focus on interdisciplinary research at the interface of optimization, systems theory, and materials engineering for the design, simulation, and production of modular structures and surface engineering.

The range of areas that ROBOPROX will impact is broad and ranges from basic to applied research. Research activities are divided into two main directions: the field of Control and Optimization for Systems, Materials and Manufacturing, and the field of Robotics and Computation Methods for Production.

More than 300 scientific publications are expected, including 190 in the world’s top rated journals in the field. The intention of the project is to transform these top results into specific prototypes, SW, patents and create a basis for national and international projects focused on specific applications. Cooperation will be developed with a number of industrial companies. Among the partners who supported the project already during its preparation are, for example, ABB, Škoda Auto, Siemens, Porsche Engineering, Valeo Autoklimatizace, Lasertherm, E.ON Digital Technology, Hofmeister, Packeta, ROTANA or the start-up RoboTwin.

Photo: J. Ryszawý

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