MERGING is a three-and-a-half year project involving the entire value chain of soft object gripping automation.

Its work programme is divided into 10 Work Packages:

WP Title and main goals Leader
1 Project management


Coordination and monitoring of the project, quality control.

2 Specification


Definition of the use-cases’ needs, of the evaluation criteria in relation to the use-cases, of technical specification to guide technological developments (hardware and software), of the reference architecture (hardware and software) to be used for the integration step.

3 Dexterous gripping devices for flexible material handling


Development and integration of hardware technologies for versatile gripping and adaptive adhesion enhancement at the interface between the object and the fingers; development of the enhanced gripper’s control technologies for intelligent manipulation; preliminary evaluation of technical performances.

4 AI based robot arm programming and adaptive control


Development of advanced control technologies of the robotic arms, suitable with the challenges of the flexible objects’ manipulation, in shared environments with humans.

5 Multi-level perception system for environment understanding


Development of a multi-level perception system that will allow the handling of flexible materials in shared environments with humans.

6 Work cell control and supervision for autonomous flexible material handling


Handling the high-level control and optimization of the flexible material handling operations to allow the seamless deployment of the peripheral modules, ensuring the effective execution of the workflow.

7 Integration of the standard technical developments Goals:Making the different possible hardware and software combinations (i.e. those relative to each use-case implementation) function together. OPTEAMUM
8 Use-cases set-up and on-site validation


Validating the MERGING robotic technologies in industrial-like environment. This will be done through their application to the three use-cases, covering a wide range of markets (textile, food packaging and transport) together with various flexible parts (textiles, polymer pouches, foams, etc.).

9 Dissemination, Exploitation and Communication Goals:Intellectual property management, knowledge transfer to industrial partners and students and workforce training, dissemination of the project results and communication of the project’ relevance, maximizing the exploitation of the project results, EPFL
10 Ethics requirements


To ensure compliance with ethical regulations