With the average productivity of SMEs falling in both the UK (12%) and France (2%) our latest project, named CoRot, aims to develop new autonomous robot technology to help improve the competitiveness of SMEs in the Channel area.
Led by French engineering university CESI, CoRot will develop innovative and affordable robot software and hardware that is focused on the needs and budgets of smaller businesses. SMEs often face issues such as large variances in volume and short deadlines, and the automated robotic systems and software developed by the CoRot project will allow SMEs to become more flexible and responsive to this type of demand.
This is an important step in improving the competitiveness and productivity of SMEs, as existing industrial robots on the market are often seen as being too expensive and too complex for smaller businesses to implement into their production processes.
The new systems will be trialled in six industrial workshops (3 in France, 3 in the UK) where the project will aim to improve productivity in these trials by as much as 30%. After the project has ended a combination of software packages, a low cost robot arm and training guides will be made readily available to SMEs.
Commenting on the announcement, Chantal Hurard from the Lead Partner CESI said: “This project is an important step in our process of supporting regional businesses to adapt to the ‘industries of the future’, and in the development of similar research activities. The elements developed by CoRot will allow any interested SMEs to adopt these key technologies to improve their competitiveness.”