The ASSISTANT project, a consortium proposing to develop disruptive solutions for the manufacturing industry, using Artificial Intelligence to optimize production systems has been selected for the European Horizon 2020 programme. Led by the faculty members of IMT Atlantique’s Department of Automation, Production and Computer Science (DAPI / UMR CNRS LS2N), the ASSISTANT project brings together eleven academic and industrial partners combining key competencies in artificial intelligence, optimization, production management, industrial engineering and robotics.
Funded to the tune of €6M by, ASSISTANT (LeArning and robuSt deciSIon SupporT sytem for agile mANufacTuring environments) was ranked second out of 73 applications submitted in the European Commission’s call for projects, with a score of 14.5/15, including an exceptional score of 5/5 on the criterion of scientific excellence.
Digital transformation for the factory of the future
ASSISTANT brings together European partners : University College Cork (Ireland), University of Patras – Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems and Automation (Greece), Flanders Make (Belgium), Technical University of Munich (Germany), Biti Innovations AB (Sweden), SIEMENS AG (Germany), INTRASOFT International (Luxemburg), Atlas Copco (Belgium), SIEMENS Energy (Germany), Groupe PSA (France)
The consortium belongs to the eight projects selected in the framework of the ICT-38-2020 call “AI for manufacturing” (Artificial Intelligence for the manufacturing units / factories of the future) of the European Commission in the framework of the Horizon 2020 programme. This call underlined the key role of artificial intelligence in the strategic positioning of the European economy. ASSISTANT should enable the factory of the future to take full advantage of the digital transformation and the contribution of AI (Artificial Intelligence) or rather, as underlined by the project’s actors, of Augmented Intelligence. The envisaged solutions place company personnel in the middle of the chessboard, allowing them to make informed decisions. ASSISTANT combines scientific excellence and a philosophical reflection on the future of jobs and factories, fully respecting the ethical principles supported by the European Commission regarding the use of Artificial Intelligence.
Tools and solutions for informed decisions
The work carried out by researchers at ITM Atlantique and its partners aims to develop the computer tools that will be used to design and control complex, collaborative and reconfigurable production systems. The objective is to provide all the information needed by the production manager to enable him to design production lines, plan manufacturing and improve machine settings. And to make effective and sustainable decisions that take into account sources of uncertainty and guarantee product quality, safety and the well-being of workers. To achieve this, the researchers intend to create intelligent digital twins (a virtual copy of the company updated in real time) that synthesize decision support tools. By combining human and machine intelligence, ASSISTANT should significantly improve the flexibility, responsiveness, quality and robustness of manufacturing systems. To achieve this, the project relies on the synergy between intelligent digital twins, optimization, simulation and automatic learning.
A cross-cutting project affirming the presence of ITM Atlantic in the European Research Area
ASSISTANT is the second European project in coordination obtained by ITM Atlantique in the last 2 years, the result of a very strong investment by the school to develop its presence in the framework of the H2020 programme. The scientific coordination of the project is ensured by Professor Alexandre Dolgui, head of the department
ASSISTANT combines scientific excellence and a philosophical reflection on the future of jobs and factories, fully respecting the ethical principles supported by the European Commission regarding the use of Artificial Intelligence. The team of teacher-researchers is composed of Professor Nicolas Beldiceanu, Simon Thevenin, Master Assistant, and Thomas Yeung, Master Assistant, also relying on the expertise of Professor Romain Billot of the LUSSI department (UMR CNRS LABSTICC). IMT Transfert, an ITM subsidiary and manager of the Big Data Teralab platform, completes the IMT Atlantique team. The project has benefited from extensive support from the school’s Research and Innovation Department, in particular from Julien Prud’homme, head of European programmes and strategic partners in Europe at IMT Atlantique.