TECNALIA is the largest center of applied research and technological development in Spain, a benchmark in Europe and a member of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance. We collaborate with companies and institutions to improve their competitiveness, people’s quality of life and achieve sustainable growth. We work with an increasingly strategic business relationship model based on trust, collaboration, and a shared technological approach, whereby our main scopes of action are: smart manufacturing, digital transformation, energy transition, sustainable mobility, personalized health, urban ecosystem and circular economy.
    We are the first private Spanish organisation in contracting, participation, and leadership in the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme and we are ranked third in European patent applications.
    TECNALIA is the project´s coordinator and leader of WP5 (AI-based multi-level performance optimization), and is involved in robotics related developments (skills programming, teaching by demonstration, teleoperation, generation of collision-free handling trajectories, planning of grasping), modelling of the environment, deployment of the pilots about battery disassembly, and tasks related to exploitation.

  • LMS

    Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems & Automation (LMS) is oriented on research and development in cutting edge scientific and technological fields. LMS is involved in a number of research projects funded by the EU and European industrial partners. Particular emphasis is given to the co-operation with the European industry as well as with a number of “hi-tech” firms. LMS is under the direction and technical coordination of Professor George Chryssolouris. It currently employs approximately 70 researchers organized in four different groups: Manufacturing Processes Modelling and Energy Efficiency, Robots, Automation and Virtual Reality in Manufacturing, Manufacturing Systems and Software Development for Manufacturing.
    Within SMARTHANDLE, LMS will bring its competence in key enabling technologies in the areas of dexterity, system reconfiguration and multi-level reasoning. By leading activities for the planning and monitoring of handling operations, LMS will contribute to the design and implementation of AI-based tools for process planning, packaging planning, orchestration and shop floor digital twins.

  • Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya –BarcelonaTech– (UPC)

    The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya –BarcelonaTech– (UPC) is a public institution of research and higher education in the fields of engineering, architecture, sciences and technology. Every year, UPC graduates more than 6,000 bachelor’s and master’s students, around 250 doctoral students and 3,500 lifelong learning students.

    Within UPC, the SmartHandle project is carried out at the Institute of Industrial and Control Engineering (IOC), which is a university research institute of UPC and its activities follow a path that started more than thirty years ago, including research, academic courses and technology transfer. These activities are developed in transversal areas such as automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, computer science, and industrial engineering. The IOC staff is composed of researchers, professors, technicians, undergraduate and postgraduate students. Part of the staff is shared with different departments of the UPC, providing the IOC with a multidisciplinary character. The IOC fosters the relationship with both Spanish and foreign research centers in order to promote the connection in related research areas and encourages the international exchange of research experiences. All the activities are possible thanks to public funds via both European and national research and collaboration projects, agreements with companies, academic courses via official masters and recognized doctoral programs.

    The research group involved in SmartHandle belongs to the Division of Robotics of IOC, whose main line of research is focused on industrial and service robotics, particularly on dexterous manipulation, task and motion planning and artificial intelligence techniques for bimanual mobile manipulators with anthropomorphic structure. Regarding the participation in SmartHandle, the UPC group main activity will be leading WP3 “Intelligent agents and mechatronic tools for workpiece handling” and a significant participation in WP5 “AI-based multi-level performance optimization”, together with the shared necessary activities required in this type of projects.


    AIMEN Technology Centre, with more than 50 years of history, is currently a national and European benchmark in research, development and technological innovation in the areas of advanced manufacturing and laser manufacturing, digital technologies for manufacturing, smart materials, smart systems and recycling; as well as in the provision of differentiating technological services to the industry in the areas of manufacturing with advanced joining technologies, robotics and process digitization, a flexible cross-engineering service highly specialised in welding, corrosion, equipment calculation, product simulation and material tests.

  • Eindhoven University of Technology

    Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is a research university specializing in engineering science &technology.
    The team from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) approaches the Smarthandle project from a work and organizational psychology perspective. Highlighting employee perspectives on collaboration with robots at work, the aim is to develop an employee-centric design framework.
    • Anna-Sophie Ulfert-Blank is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior and Artificial Intelligence. Her areas of expertise include Human-AI Teaming, trust, and technology acceptance.
    • Evangelia Demerouti is a Full Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. Her research focuses on the processes enabling employee performance, including the effects of work characteristics, individual job strategies (including job crafting), and occupational well-being.
    • Sonja Rispens is an Associate Professor. Her research is focused on the process of collaboration, including human-robot collaboration.
    • Anna Christopoulou is a Ph.D. Candidate with a background in Social and Organisational Psychology. Her current research focuses on the collaboration between humans and AI at work.

  • Teaching Factory Competence Center

    Teaching Factory Competence Center (TF CC) mission is to create added value for the services and products of manufacturing companies, through innovative technologies and research activities. TF CC is involved in a number of research projects funded by the industry as well as by the CEU. It has been established through the collaboration of universities and several large industrial companies and SMEs in Greece.
    TF CC provides a set of innovation services, followed by the corresponding training and consulting services, based on four (4) Technology Areas, namely:
    • Digitalization & Industrial Automation
    • Advanced Manufacturing Processes
    • AR/VR and Sensing technology
    • Communications and 5G

    In SMARTHANDLE, TF CC will orchestrate the HW and SF integration activities for seamless transferring of obtained data and knowledge, during demonstration phase. TF CC will provide the required infrastructure for assessing the pre-pilot ALUMIL use case, while leading the performance assessment activities. Through clustering activities and synergies (workshops, learning services) with projects of similar calls, TF CC will promote experience and knowledge exchange in a methodical effort of bridging the gap between academia and industrial communities.

  • KUKA

    KUKA is a global automation corporation with sales of around 3.3 billion euro and roughly 14,000 employees. The company is headquartered in Augsburg, Germany. As one of the world’s leading suppliers of intelligent automation solutions, KUKA offers customers everything they need from a single source: from robots and cells to fully automated systems and their networking in markets such as automotive, electronics, metal & plastic, consumer goods, e-commerce/retail and healthcare.
    In the project SMARTHANDLE, KUKA focuses on motion planning and grasp planning. New motion planning algorithms are developed to plan industrial tasks and execute them on single-arm and multi-arm robot systems. Based on task descriptions, which combine CAD data and geometric constraints, new algorithms plan feasible motions through exploiting robot redundancies and process redundancies. To grasp known and unknown workpieces existing learning-based grasping techniques are adapted and extended, especially by advancing them from single-arm grasping to dual-arm grasping. With these techniques feasible grasps are determined by scoring them according to their grasp success probability. Both development areas are evaluated in industrial use cases, especially the handling and transportation of bulky workpieces like aluminium profiles.

  • Roboception

    Roboception offers innovative sensor and software solutions that allow customers across all robotic domains to enable their robotic systems to reliably perceive their environment. Following the concept of “Sense. Reason. Act”, Roboception’s award-winning rc_visard stereo sensor and its highly sophisticated rc_reason software suite close the robotic perception-action loop. These plug-and-play solutions feature highly intuitive, user-friendly interfaces and are compatible with a variety of hardware platforms. On top of this, customer-specific solutions are developed in compliance with individual plug-and-produce requirements. Munich-based Roboception was founded in 2015 as a spin-off of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics.
    The combination of state-of-the-art AI techniques with the confidence information uniquely provided by Roboception’s visual processing hardware and software will lead to higher robustness in the perception process and provide more reliable, task-relevant information. As a partner in SMARTHANDLE, Roboception will move from proof of concept to pilot validation of a new application-ready solution for flexible robot perception skills.

  • STT Products – Engineering Hightech Solutions

    STT Products optimises production processes. We do this by engineering and developing tailor-made,
    high-end technical solutions for the manufacturing industry.
    As a company, we distinguish ourselves with the ability to think along with our clients continuously
    and in every step. Our passion lies in solving complex issues that require innovative technical
    Our team consists of 40 enthusiastic professionals. Experienced innovation experts, engineers,
    precision metalworkers, and mechanics with creativity and knowledge of mechanical engineering,
    electrical and control technology, software and precision mechanics. We do everything in-house;
    from ideation to implementation. This makes us flexible and provides a lot of insight into the
    feasibility of our ideas.
    STT Products (together with partner Demcon) will develop and validate smart handling technology
    for one of the SMARTHANDLE use cases involving project partner and end-user Menicon, a
    manufacturer of prescription contact lenses. Within SMARTHANDLE, the use case-partners Menicon,
    Demcon and STT Products will develop a transport solution for the handling of delicate, deformable,
    and transparent workpieces.
    STT Products will focus on the development and realisation of high precision mechanical and
    mechatronic hardware for smart handling of the delicate contact lenses from Menicon in their
    production process.

  • Netcompany-Intrasoft

    Netcompany-Intrasoft is a leading European IT Solutions and Services Group with strong international presence and expertise, offering innovative and added-value solutions of the highest quality to a wide range of international and national public and private organizations. As of November 2021, Netcompany-Intrasoft became a member of the Netcompany Group, a Denmark located IT company founded in 2000. Netcompany is the fastest growing and most successful IT services company in the Nordics, owning vast technology experience and deep industry-specific knowledge, creating innovative solutions tailored to meet business goals.

    Netcompany-Intrasoft employs more than 2,800 highly skilled professionals, representing over 50 different nationalities and mastering more than 30 languages. With headquarters in Luxembourg, Netcompany-Intrasoft operates through its operational branches, subsidiaries and offices in 13 countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Jordan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Romania, RSA, UK, UAE and USA.

    Within SMARTHANDLE project, Netcompany-Intrasoft, is the Dissemination, Communication and Exploitation leader, ensuring maximum impact of the project’s results. As a leading technical solutions provider, we are in charge of the data management plan, the design and development of the architecture of a multi-agent AI resources interconnectivity, as well as providing support for the software integration process.

  • Demcon

    Demcon industrial systems Groningen (DEMCON) develops, creates, and supports technical solutions for the manufacturing industry. Our solutions are modular, scalable, and based on state-of-the-art industry standards. We can deliver everything from small customer specific semi-automatic modules to complete turnkey fully automatic production lines. Based on our expertise in mechatronics and production technology, we develop advanced processes and build efficient production systems without losing the economic viability out of sight. We are an independent part of the Demcon group, a technology provider with more than 1000 highly qualified engineers with a wide variety of technical expertise, all under one roof. Together we are able to take on the toughest technical challenges.

    DEMCON will (together with partner STT) develop and validate smart handling technology for one of the SMARTHANDLE use cases involving project partner and end-user Menicon, a manufacturer of prescription contact lenses. Menicon has the ambitious goal to develop a fully automated production line to produce prescription contact lenses. Within SMARTHANDLE, the use case-partners Menicon, STT and Demcon will develop a transport solution for the handling of delicate, deformable, and transparent workpieces.

    DEMCON has developed its own standardized machine control platform, called BRIX, that forms the basis of the control software architecture used in the automated production line of Menicon. On hardware level BRIX is used to control the production cell hardware. This includes handling, shaping, and transporting products. Next to that BRIX contains high-level architecture for data handling, exposing (sensor) data from the production cell.

    Within this project Demcon will specifically extend the BRIX standard towards flexible handling solutions. On the hardware level this involves implementing control modules steering dexterous and reconfigurable end-effectors.
    On a higher level this involves adding (data) interfaces to provide information about status and capabilities of the production cells and status and characteristics of the workpiece to be produced and handled. This enables (smart, ai-based) planning algorithms to coordinate the transport between cells.

  • Alumil

    Alumil (est. 1988) is one of the world’s leading vertically integrated architectural aluminium systems manufacturers; in terms of production, distribution network and product range, it is the largest privately-owned aluminium extrusion group in South-East Europe. The firm couples a vibrant R&D culture with 12 fully equipped production facilities located in 6 countries that comprise aluminium, polyamide and PVC extrusion lines, foundries, and much more. Increasingly, Alumil’s product portfolio reflects its ability to develop innovative solutions that respond to the ever-changing needs of designers, fabricators, investors, and homeowners.
    ALUMIL plant in Kilkis, alone, occupies 1200 persons and produces 120tonnes of aluminum rod parts per day. The core business is targeted on:
    1) Industrial Sector: Customer oriented products based on demand
    2) Architectural: Unfinished products that are send to the customers
    On a daily basis, 130 different product codes are being produced and currently there are over 20.000 product codes that it is constantly increased based on the customer demands. Despite the aluminum rod parts, ALUMIL is producing small aluminum accessories (brackets, handles, screws etc.).

    In SMARTHANDLE, Alumil will provide data and help in setting the specifications for the software and oversee the architecture of the software in order for it to be as efficient as possible in a real manufacturing enviroment. In addition, we will implement the pilot of the overall system in our plant.

  • Menicon BV

    Menicon BV (MNL) is part of the global organization with its head quarters in Nagoya, Japan. In Emmen, in the North East of the Netherlands, the facility has its focus on research and development, manufacturing, marketing and sales of contact lenses. The core expertise lays in the made to order (batch size is 1 unit) gas permeable (known as hard), soft lenses and lenses for medical applications. The manufactured products are distributed through Menicon partners in Europe and multiple countries worldwide.

    Menicon (MNL) is involved in SMATHANDLE with a use case. This is about the handling of delicate medical devices like contact lenses. These contact lenses can be characterized as light in weight, sensitive for static electricity and having high quality optics and surface finish.

  • ABEE

    Dynamic engineering company specialized in battery and energy technologies for automotive and stationary applications.

    ABEE is supporting the industries in the development of tailored made solutions from battery materials to recycling for automotive and stationary applications through the development of dedicated multiscale simulation tools and functions integrated in various platforms.”

    ABEE will collaborate on the SMARTHANDLE project as an end user from the automotive industry tier-1 supplier providing the specs and requirements for the appropriate EV-Battery disassembly handling process for recycling purposes; as well as participate in the pilot unit arm robot integration.