• TITLE: multipurpose robotics for mAniPulation of defoRmable materIaLs in manufacturing processes.
  • SUMMARY: APRIL project aims at implementing and deploying market-oriented, low-cost and multipurpose robots that support semiautomatic tasks in manufacturing production lines that use flexible or deformable materials in industries of any size or domain.


APRIL aims to develop and build demonstrative robotic prototypes optimised for the grasping and manipulation of soft and deformable materials within manufacturing environments. The robotic prototype will mainly consist of a dexterous hand and arm whose movements will be guided by a central brain (cloud-based knowledge engine) that efficiently processes all the information gathered by the different sensors and enables learning mechanisms to execute new tasks. 

Innovative sensing together with Computer Vision algorithms will allow the detection of slips, estimation of weight and dynamic centre of mass, or the adjustment of grasping forces while manipulating deformable objects of different types (e.g., paper, chicken breast, shoes’ insoles, viscoelastic textile materials, cables, etc.). 

APRIL system will be deployed in six different demonstration use cases across Europe. Robots integrated in the manufacturing processes will operate at several critical steps that affect production, packing and quality assurance. As a result, on the one hand, an increase in safety and related health conditions is expected to improve workplaces for human-robot collaboration. On the other hand, higher productivity and quality levels will lead to a greater competitiveness of the European industry.


  • BUDGET: €7,926,391.25
  • DURATION: 40 months (01/04/2020 – 31/07/2023)
  • PROGRAMME: H2020-FoF-2019
  • PROJECT COORDINATOR: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid 


This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870142.


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