ECHORD (European Clearing House for Open Robotics Development) is an EU-funded project within the Seventh Framework Program, aiming to strengthen the cooperation between scientific research and industry in European robotics. ECHORD started in January 2009 and will last until February 2013. ECHORD is managed by a core consortium of three universities Technische Universität München, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II and Universidade de Coimbra coordinated by Professor Alois Knoll, Technische Universität München. In the context of ECHORD, small-scale projects, so-called “experiments” are conducted.
The purpose of ECHORD is to significantly advance technological know-how and to pursue progress and innovation in joint technology and application development in European robotics.
The main instrument for achieving this goal is by setting up the framework for European research institutions and robot manufacturers to cooperate in experiments that have a maximum duration of 18 months, a that have a specific ,concrete focus and that use state-of-the-art equipment provided by the manufacturers. The concept of the experiments is based on past experiences with joint projects, and it intends to emulate the conditions that turned those projects into success stories. Moreover ECHORD creates a productive collaboration environment for research institutes and manufacturers across Europe and helps even small institutions or manufacturers to participate in setting up a strong network in the European robotics community.
For that reason, the close collaboration between ECHORD and euRobotics is essential. While ECHORD provides a platform for small experiments with a specific goal in terms of scientific objectives and/or application, euRobotics supports and strengthens the European Robotics network and platform by organising conferences and workshops. With the competition in robotics ever increasing, (especially between Japan and Europe), cutting-edge technology will be the decisive factor which determines success. We believe Europe can achieve the “cutting-edge” advantage through a very close collaboration of robot manufacturers and research institutes. Thus, ECHORD’s overall objective is to encourage and support Europe’s robot industry to bring technology forward and to build up excellence in well-defined areas. ECHORD provides incentives that encourage European robot manufacturers and research institutes to work together on an operational level, with tangible and measurable results to accelerate the development of technologies and their deployment into new application scenarios. This intensive collaboration will take place within ECHORD, but will also have a lasting impact on the entire European robotics industry in general. ECHORD is managed by a core consortium of three universities: Technische Universität München, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II and Universidade de Coimbra.