The University of Twente, as partner of the TERRINet consortium, kicked-off the financed project. This group of top research institutions makes high quality infrastructure available to researchers in Europe and worldwide for robotics experiments. The initiative is part of the excellent science pillar of Horizon 2020 (the EU programme for research and innovation which also finances the ERC-grant). The UT is the only Dutch participant.
TERRINet was selected by the EU from nearly a hundred proposals submitted and came 5th. The consortium comprises thirteen top institutes in Europe, including the UT. The ambition is to become “a CERN for robotics”. The CERN is the most prestigious shared infrastructure for research in the field of particle physics.
“a CERN for robotics”
As part of TERRINet, the UT facilitates the use of Space53 which is a test centre for robotics systems like drones at Twente Airport. Other infrastructure includes the iCub, an advanced robot to study social interaction and machine learning. In addition, a number of robots are participating in the various UT laboratories: the Robotics and Mechatronic Lab under the chairmanship of Prof. Stefano Stramigioli (Principal Investigator of the TERRINET for the UT), the Human Media Interaction lab under Prof. Vanessa Evers, and the BioMechanical Engineering lab with its gait rehabilitation robot LOPES under Prof. Herman van der Kooij.
The consortium serves as an example to the international community. The partners facilitate availability of the best robotics infrastructure in Europe. This includes Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, EPFL, KIT, TUM, Imperial College London, UPC, and Bristol Robotic Laboratory, amongst others. Finally, the University of Twente plays a crucial role in coordinating the activities of TERRINet with euRobotics. This is the central European association for robotics of which UT Professor Stramigioli is the Vice President of Research.