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Digital Newsletter - n°3
February 2021

Dear readers, 

With the first SHERLOCK newsletter in 2021, we would like to wish you a successful and healthy new year! At the same time, we are excited about future progress we are making within the SHERLOCK project. This issue already provides you with an overview of some of the SHERLOCK technological and technical developments and results.

Meanwhile, we will aim to keep SHERLOCK in the spotlight and work to expand our networks to leverage the knowledge about SHERLOCK technologies and applications. Moreover, we are thrilled to announce the first SHERLOCK workshop!

Thanking all our partners for their involvement, we encourage you to join us on Twitter, Facebook LinkedIn to keep up with our latest updates. The SHERLOCK website and Youtube channel also provide an overview of the latest achievements regarding smart manufacturing.

Take care & stay tuned!

Best wishes,


Technical status

For the past few months, SHERLOCK has passed from the development phase of the various individual modules and technologies to the integration phase, bringing together the developed technology to four preliminary industrial pre-pilot demonstrators. One preliminary industrial pre-pilot demonstrator has been set up for each of the project use cases. The results of the integration activities are demonstrated in the following videos: 

OTIS - elevators cabin assembly using collaborative manipulators

📽 watch the video here
Elevators cabin assembly using collaborative manipulators

VDL - reconfigurable industrial collaborative modules assembly

📽 watch the video here
Reconfigurable industrial collaborative modules assembly

FIDIA - exoskeleton assisted machine building

📽 watch the video here
Exoskeleton assisted machine building

SOFITEC - co-manipulation of large parts by a dual-arm mobile manipulator

📽 watch the video here
Large parts co-manipulation by dual-arm mobile manipulator – Initial production station - SHERLOCK

Besides the integration activities, SHERLOCK partners are constantly working towards delivering the 2nd prototypes of the modules, improving the already developed technology based on feedback derived from the preliminary testbeds.

Interested in the preliminary demonstrator videos of the SHERLOCK use cases? Take a look at our Youtube channel to find out more!

Coming next!

Would you like to know more about how the SHERLOCK project contributes to the future of smart manufacturing? Then you are in luck!
All the technical aspects of innovative Human-Robot Collaboration will be further discussed during a virtual workshop on "Fostering Seamless & Safe Human-Robot Collaboration in Manufacturing".

In particular, the workshop will discuss: 
  • Smart manufacturing
  • Soft robotics
  • Software and intuitive design
  • Efficient integration in the workflow
Are you interested in these topics? Stay tuned, more information and the provisional agenda will be available on the website and social media channels.

6th General Assembly Meeting

During the 6th General Assembly of the SHERLOCK project on 20 and 21 January 2021, SHERLOCK partners convened to discuss and share further developments and progress each partner is making for the project’s smooth running. Moreover, new developments on the SHERLOCK robotic prototypes and the new technological advances on the smart devices were shared. While the meeting had to be held online this time, we hope to be able to meet face to face again in the future.


Discussing collaborative human-robot applications @ the 8th CIRP CATS

SHERLOCK had the great opportunity to give three keynote speeches during the 8th CIRP Conference on Assembly Technology and Systems on “Digitalizing Smart Factories”, which took place from the 29 of September to the 1 of October 2020.

The aim was to bring scientific and industrial stakeholders together, to discuss and share opinions on the challenges faced by the manufacturers in today’s automated environment.

On the 1st day, SHERLOCK partners held a keynote speech on “Seamless human-robot interaction”; directly jumping into the topic of novel industrial collaborative robots. Although the term Human-Robot Collaboration is becoming a popular term, it remains to be very complex. Markets are evolving quickly in the last decade without the required flexibility level without reaching sufficient productivity and quality levels. In this context, new scenarios emerge and evolve where physical barriers no longer separate industrial robots from the human operator. Hence, collaborative robots establish efficient interactions with the operator using smart devices and ensure the safety and security of the worker by monitoring the workspaces.

On the 2nd day, SHERLOCK partners gave a keynote speech on “Advanced soft robotics technologies and smart mechatronics” highlighting how the digital transformation of products and production related to the Industry 4.0 revolution pushes manufacturers to rethink their assembly systems and processes. In this context, the integration of collaborative robots in existing environments facilitate and help human operators in their daily assembly tasks. The overarching goal is to boost the overall production and quality levels. At the same time, the operators improve their ergonomic postures by reducing loads, thus decreasing fatigue as well as stress level and improving job satisfaction. The final result is a system in which all processes are integrated, and information is exchanged in real-time.

Finally, on the 3rd day of the conference, SHERLOCK partners presented the last keynote speech on “Safety and security in collaborative workspaces” raising a crucial aspect: the central place occupied by the human operator. Indeed, the security and safety of human operators is a key component of SHERLOCK’s values. The relevance of safety was also discussed considering the increase of complexity of Human-Robot Collaborative applications, as well as the European directive and standards required in today’s manufacturers. SHERLOCK is developing three main modules to achieve safety compliant designs while keeping high levels of productivity:
  • Human-Robot Collaboration Validation Module: embedded by virtual reality to facilitate the design and testing of new HRC stations by simulating the behaviour of the operator and the robot to evaluate and validate the scenario efficiency.
  • Automated Risk Assessment Module: using augmented reality-based tools to assist in Human-Robot Collaboration applications design.
  • Online Safety Assessment Module: aiming to continuously assess safety parameters to avoid potential safety violation in advance.

More than 100 participants have attended each 30 minutes keynote leading to fruitful and insightful discussions about seamless and successful Human-Robot Collaboration. Once again, it has demonstrated the importance to exchange experiences on the challenges brought by the automation transformation emphasising its necessity and opportunity.
We hope to e-meet and collaborate with all of you during similar webinars again!

Keynote 1: “Seamless human-robot interaction” – Sotiris Makris, Lab. for Manufacturing Systems and Automation (LMS), University of Patras

Keynote 2: “Advanced soft robotics technologies and smart mechatronics” – Alfio Minissale, COMAU S.p.A

Keynote 3: “Safety and security in collaborative workspaces” – Toni Guasch, Pilz Industrieelektronik S.L 
Updating the Industrial Strategy for Europe

At the end of October 2020, the European Commission announced in its 2021 Work Programme to update its industrial strategy to take into account the impacts of the COVID-19, the global competitive context, and the acceleration of the twin green and digital transitions. The revised strategy is expected to be published in the second quarter of 2021.

Please see below a summary of the current EU Industrial Strategy featuring key highlights: 
  • Supporting industries to become more productive, by focusing on the digital transformation within the industries and speeding up investments in research and the implementation of technologies, such as AI. 
  • Being an industrial innovation strategy at heart. In other terms, innovations, new technologies and solutions would be embedded in the policymaking. 
  • Launching of a Public Private Partnership in the Horizon Europe programme to help industries developing new technologies to successfully achieve their goals.
  • Regarding the gender balance, the European Commission emphasizes the essential prerequisite for having better equity between woman and men in industries. It is ensured through the implementation of the EU Gender Strategy.
  • Development of key enabling technologies will be particularly supported to enhance Europe's industrial future, including robotics.  
  • Orienting the strategy toward an ecological transition for industries. 

 IFAM – Ljubljana, Slovenia 2021.
16 - 18  February 2021
IFAM is the leading B2B fair for automation, mechatronics, sensor technologies, measuring technologies, computer vision, and more in Slovenia and the CEE region. Manufacturers, importers, and distributors of products and services related to automation, mechatronics, systems of testing, controlling, computer vision, measurement technologies, assembly and handling technology, control system technology, sensor technology, drive technology will be present. Find out more here
EU Robotics Forum 2021
23 - 25 March 2021
The 12th European Robotics Forum, the most influential meeting of the robotics community in Europe, will go virtual this year, due to COVID concerns. ERF2021 will host a major exhibition where companies, universities, and research institutes showcase the most advanced European prototypes, products, services, and EU-funded projects. It will also be a good opportunity to network, even there is no a common place to physically meet.
Find out more here

I4.0 Expo
8 - 10 April 2021
The Exposalão in Batalha, Portugal, hosts the I4.0 EXPO fair from April 8th to 12th 2021. The automation and robotics fair places its main emphasis on the digital evolution and the optimization of industrial processes. Read more here.
Advanced Factories Expo and Conference 2021
20 - 22 April 2021
Advanced Factories is the annual meeting of industry leaders. This event has established itself as the industrial trade show where the latest solutions on industrial automation systems, robotics, industrial software, artificial intelligence, artificial vision, and virtual simulation solutions, Big Data, IoT, cybersecurity, Industrial Cloud Computing, Machine Learning and all technologies 4.0 associated with digital manufacturing are showcased. Find out more here
Hannover Messe 2021
 12 - 16 April 2021
Hannover Messe Digital Edition is the leading knowledge and networking platform for the manufacturing and energy industries. From AI and robotics to batteries and fuel cells, industry thought leaders present their technologies and ideas for the factories and energy systems of the future under the central theme of "Industrial Transformation". Find out more here.
SHERLOCK consortium
SHERLOCK coordinator:

SHERLOCK partners:


SHERLOCK is a project which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 820689. The sole responsibility for the content of this e-update lies with the SHERLOCK project and in no way reflects the views of the European Union.

SHERLOCK aims to introduce the latest safe robotic technologies in production environments, enhancing them with smart mechatronics and Artificial Intelligence-based cognition, creating efficient Human-Robot Collaboration stations that are designed to be safe and guarantee the acceptance and wellbeing of operators. 

Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems & Automation (LMS) 
SHERLOCK H2020 Website
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