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Research on robotics and optimization algorithms at Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU) will contribute significantly to the transformation of Czech industry and its international competitiveness. The ROBOPROX project, with a total budget of CZK 467.9 million, has been selected among 26 elite projects to be supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MŠMT) and the European Commission under the Jan Amos Komenský Operational Programme (OPJAK) Top Research Call. 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 the Czech and European industry for flexibility, which is necessary for companies to be able to respond to changing and individual customer requirements and at the same time be able to fully respect the growing environmental constraints," explains Prof. Zdeněk Hanzálek from CIIRC CTU, who is the principal investigator of the ROBOPROX project, and summarizes: "The ambition is to help the Czech and European economy to switch to flexible, environmentally friendly and competitive production."

The ROBOPROX project will involve up to 180 top experts. Dozens of new PhD and postdoctoral positions will open up, as well as unique opportunities for talented scientists from the Czech Republic and abroad. Recruitment for the new positions has already started and will take place over the next few months. To further strengthen international relations, senior researchers who have strong links with top international institutions and renowned universities such as LAAS-CNRS Toulouse, TU Delft, DFKI Saarbrücken, University of Southampton, University of Birmingham and others are contributing to further strengthen international relations.

"Thanks to this project, our university will be able to continue its excellent research in the field of robotics. In ROBOPROX, we will combine our expertise and experience and develop new approaches and technologies with impact on industrial production together with our partners. We thus have a real opportunity to actively contribute to the transformation of 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 Brno University of Technology (BUT), University of West Bohemia in Pilsen (ZČU) and Technical University of Ostrava (VŠB-TUO). At CTU, this is a truly university-wide cooperation. It involves top researchers and roboticists from Faculty of Electrical Engineering (FEL), Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (FS), Faculty of Civil Engineering (FSv), Faculty of Information Technology (FIT), Institute of Technical and Experimental Physics (ÚTEF) and Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC CTU), which also coordinates the entire project.  The implementation will last until mid-2028.

ROBOPROX will focus on the use of algorithms and optimization methods in the areas of production planning and logistics, energy efficiency, flexible deployment of robots with a high degree of autonomy, safe collaboration of robots with humans in a confined workspace, and the use of drones. It will also focus on interdisciplinary research at the intersection of optimization, systems theory, and materials engineering for the design, simulation, and fabrication of modular structures and surface engineering.

The range of areas that ROBOPROX will impact is broad and ranges from basic to applied research. The research activities are divided into two main areas: control and optimisation of systems, materials and manufacturing, and robotics and computational methods for manufacturing.

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

Contact person: 
Eva Doležalová