Autonomy and automation are key technological elements enabling the digitalization of services and processes in industrial, societal, environmental, energy and transport applications. They allow enhancing the operational performance, decreasing costs related to manual operations, increasing benefits, minimizing losses, optimizing productivity and improving safety and security. Autonomy relates to systems able to take decision without human intervention. Examples include the mobile robot sent to the planet Mars with a capability in taking decisions about its navigation procedure, trajectory and speed in an unknown environment. Automation relates to systems that do not take decisions by themselves as they follow a list of planned tasks and will stop for an unplanned situation. The best-known example is industrial inspection (e.g. of drink bottles, banknote) where camera systems check for faults according to pre-defined templates.
NORCE is engaged in a set of industrial automation activities to foster industrial competitiveness in reducing cost, downtime, injuries while increasing the yield and product quality.