ABSTRACT

Objectives and milestones
The general objective of VEGA project is to contribute to the improvement of the state of the art by increasing the capacity, quality and scope of research at Product Design and Robotics Department (PDR) of Transilvania University of Brasov, Romania, by establishing strong and sustainable research cooperation schemes with centres of excellence in Europe and major industrial partners in the regional and European industry based on a competitive research infrastructure in the field of Virtual Reality in Product Design and Robotics.
In order to achieve this strategic objective, three major operational goals are set:

  • INCREASED SCOPE AND COMPETITIVE RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE: - the goal set for the end of the project is to pass from the mechanical engineering predominant research to the product life cycle approach via VR applications. This goal is addressed by two workpackages, namely WP1 (Tuning of research) and WP4 (Research scope and infrastructure). From the current state of best VR infrastructure in the country, by the end of first project year, PDR will have an infrastructure at the level of the most competitive centres of excellence in Europe.
  • TRAINING and MOBILITY of researchers: The aim is to enhance the research capacity through training of personnel. Two workpackages are devoted to this purpose: WP2 - Training through research and WP3 - ASI. From the present state of 2 professors and 3 PhD students, by the end of this project PDR will include a strong team working on Virtual Reality applied in Product Design and Robotics with 7 professors, 12 PhD students and 3 postdoctoral researchers.
  • INTEGRATION INTO ERA - Two WPs are prepared for this aim, namely, WP5 - Strategic partnership and WP6 - Dissemination. The goal is to create a sustainable strategic partnership with prestigious RTD and centres of excellence as well as industrial partners from EU and other regions, able to promote strong proposals under FP6 and increase the participation of PDR department to the European Research Area. From the stage of isolated research projects in Virtual Reality, by the end of this SSA, PDR will reach the stage of having a strong European and inter-regional partnership in VR field, with continuity in carrying out projects and even leading initiatives, proposals and projects under FP6.
The project has three important milestones: M1: Research infrastructure achievement; M2: Advanced Summer Institution successful completion and M3: Brokerage event.
Participants list
Out of the coordinating institution, Transilvania University of Brasov, the project will involve as partners inside the activities of the various workpackages, the following institutions: Fraunhofer, Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation-IPA Stuttgart, Germany, Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS), Greece, IAR S.A. Brasov, Romania, SIEMENS PSE Romania, Institut Francais de Mecanique Avancee, (IFMA) France, ELECTROLUX Home Products Italy S.p.A., Universidade da Coruna-Escola Politecnica Superior, Spain, TNO Delft, Department of Ergonomics and Innovation, the Netherlands, Berne University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland, University of Leeds, UK, Canam Steel Romania, Universidad de Cartagena, E.T.S. de Ingenieria Industrial, Spain, Autoliv Romania S.A., ATTT – International Association of Technology Transfer & Training Bruxelles, Technical University of Delft -Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, UK. This group is seen as an evolving partnership that will be encouraged to extend according to the needs all project duration, based on formal letters of intent.
General description
The project has a backbone of four research axes that will be supported within PDR to cover the product life cycle and on which the whole strategy of the support actions is built. This corresponds to four new research workgroups within PDR department. These teams will undertake the tasks of defining in detail the S&T objectives of each topic, the creation of the necessary capacity in terms of human resources, infrastructure and international partnership to guarantee the achievement of the established objectives. The four WGs are:
  • WG1: VR based design and simulation group that will specialized on the aspects related to the validation of the product behaviour and aesthetic & functional characteristics, as well as eco-design and life cycle impact assessment aspects
  • WG2: Virtual testing group that will focus on the scientific matters related to the integrating hardware and human in the loop techniques and VR techniques using real time dynamic simulation capabilities for maintenance and testing.
  • WG3: Manufacturing and recycling workgroup specialized on the field of Virtual assembly for the ergonomic assessment and planning of the assembly/disassembly sequences and validation of processes, process layouts and routes.
  • WG4: Maintenance workgoup that will integrate Augmented Reality techniques such as to enable remote and e-maintenance applications.