Today manual procedures still dominate when it comes to creating and testing new healthcare products. This is because regulations require certainty in the execution of each process step and systematic checking to verify task completion, known as traceability. A particular challenge in this field is the handling of sterile medical products. Lab automation with dexterous and reasoning robots is the solution.
The EU funded TraceBot project aims at addressing healthcare-related processes, and more exactly the membrane-based sterility testing process. The objective of TraceBot is to bring verifiable actions to robot manipulation by reasoning over sensor-actor trails in a traceability framework based on digital-twin technology and extend current robot motion planners with the automatic execution of self-checking procedures that create a semantic trace of the actions performed. The goal is to create robotic systems able to understand what they perceive and do, to ensure that any manipulation action is verified, thus meeting the needs of the regulated environment.
The TraceBot project brings together six strong partners from five countries: Astech Projects Limited (England), Commissariat à l‘Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (France), Fundación Tecnalia Research & Innovation (Spain), Invite GmbH (Germany), Technische Universität Wien (Austria) and Universität Bremen (Germany) and is being guided by representatives of the pharmaceutical industry. Each partner contributes its own expertise by providing a solution working hand-in-hand with each other partner’s solution. This cooperation will permit the development of tactile grippers for handling medical products, the design of a set of manipulation skills to execute the regulatory checking actions for every assembly step, the generation of an intuitive programming method for a quick adaptation to novel products and tasks and, last but not least, the development of a reasoning framework to monitor and control the safe and failure-resistant operation of the robot system, in order to meet the need of safety-critical automation. The TraceBot project’s coordination, communication and dissemination is carried out by the health network BioLAGO (Germany).
Duration: January 2021 till March 2025.