09 Apr 2020   |   Network Updates   |   Update from KTH Royal Institute of Technology
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KTH researcher receives large ERC grant for robotics study


It is now clear that Danica Kragic Jensfelt, Professor of Computer Science, is a recipient of the prestigious research grant, the ERC Advanced Grant. This means that she will receive the equivalent of SEK 27.5 million to distribute over five years of research.

“I’m very proud to be awarded this grant. I would like to thank my colleagues who were involved in the application process and helped it to turn out so well. I’m now looking forward to achieving all of the promised goals together with them,” says Danica Kragic Jensfelt.

The ERC Advanced Grant is a research grant awarded to established researchers with extensive, thorough experience in their respective areas. The award degree for these grants is around 9-10 per cent and for this specific request for proposal, the European Research Council received a total of 1,881 applications and financed 185 projects.

The research funding that Danica Kragic Jensfelt receives will go to the project, Bimanual Manipulation of Rigid and Deformable Objects, BIRD. Here, she and the researchers will study how to get robot hands to function like the human model.

In more detail, the challenge lies in the human interactions with objects taking place without us thinking about it. Here, our senses – such as vision, hearing and feel – collaborate without us reflecting in detail over what is happening. Even if robots today can lift, carry and put down objects, a lot of research remains before their hands can hand wash plates and glasses, button a shirt, cut hair and peel potatoes.

Within the scope of BIRD, the researchers will develop new ways of representing objects and robot hands’ interaction with them. Everything will then be tested carefully, and evaluated.

This is not the first time that Danica Kragic Jensfelt was awarded a grant from the European Research Council. In 2011, she was awarded the ERC Starting Grant, which is a grant that can be applied for by young researchers up to seven years after earning their doctorate.

Text: Peter Ardell

For more information, contact Danica Kragic Jensfelt at danik@kth.se

This article was first published on 6 April by KTH.

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