In the past two years, five EU-funded projects (BALANCE, Biomot, H2R, Koroibot and WALK-MAN ), all dealing with the topic of locomotion in various domains, have launched a promising initiative on benchmarking for bipedal locomotion. Thanks to motivated and skilled contributors, the idea has now translated into a brand new website, to be populated further in the next months with reference data.

Such a collaboration of EU-funded projects is very timely and welcome. As robotic systems develop and continuously improve, especially with regard to humanoids and wearables, it is of primary importance for researchers to be able to test and compare their results.

Benchmarking activities not only benefit the scientific community (helping to focus efforts, to exchange results, to drive research and to allow tangible progress) but also the industrial community (to assess quality, to meet users’ needs, to speed up development and to shorten testing time). They also contribute speeding up the lab-to-product time and optimise technology-transfer lifecycle.

The EU has been funding research into Robotics for more than 10 years, helping Europe to become a world-leader in this field. The EU’s Robotics programme supported around 130 research projects under the seventh Framework Programme and nearly 40 projects have already been selected under H2020. Amongst those projects and initiatives, benchmarking and performance evaluation is recognised as a key component leading to Europe’s excellence and competitiveness. The network has already organised successful workshops and it will hopefully develop soon into an even bigger and highly interesting initiative.

I wish all the best to this new scheme and encourage all researchers involved in these topics to participate and develop it further!

European Commission supports benchmarking (by Anne Bajart)