Skip to main content

The future of robotics: Better use of data leads to faster automation

SDU is leading the FERA project, which has received over 14 million kroner from the Innovation Fund Denmark. Collaborating with partners such as Odense Robotics, Novo Nordisk, and Universal Robots aims to improve industrial automation solutions by using data more strategically.

By Sune Holst, , 5/16/2024

"By using data from existing robotic solutions to create new ones, we reduce costs and implementation time for new automation solutions. This breaks with the traditional approach, which requires extensive design and time-consuming programming for each new robotic solution. This benefits companies not only in Odense but throughout Denmark."

These are the words of Mikkel Baun Kjærgaard, a professor of Software Engineering at the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute at SDU. He speaks about the FERA project, which received 14.3 million kroner from the Innovation Fund Denmark.

FERA stands for Fast and Efficient Robotic Automation via Reuse of Data. However, FERA also means 'wild animal' in Latin; real-world data can appear as wild animals, which is challenging to manage. The project contributes with a unique software-based method to structure and reuse data from robotic solutions.

"We expect to see a reduction in programming time by up to 25 percent and an improvement in solution efficiency and the coverage of potential error sources. This is a huge step forward for the robotics industry," elaborates Mikkel Baun Kjærgaard.

Significant Economic Potential
And time is money, as we know. By using data more strategically, companies can accelerate their automation strategies and thus achieve a quicker return on their investments.

"This new way of using data can have a significant impact on both robotics companies and those who need the solutions," says Søren Elmer, CEO of Odense Robotics, Denmark's national cluster for robots, automation, and drones, and continues:

"The project reduces the time it takes to implement new automation solutions, which is crucial to maintaining competitiveness in a globalized world. We expect FERA to help set new international standards for data use in robotics."

Søren Elmer explains that FERA is an example of the strength of partnerships between universities, industry, and technological innovators. With FERA, the path is paved for a future where robotic automation becomes more accessible to companies of all sizes.

The FERA project will be demonstrated in practice in 2026, with specific applications already under development at Novo Nordisk and Universal Robots, two of the project's industrial partners. These demonstrations show how FERA can improve processes such as machine operation and product assembly in various industries.

The Innovation Fund Denmark supports the project through the Grand Solutions program with a grant of 14.3 million kroner. The total project budget is 20.4 million kroner.

Partners: SDU, KU, Universal Robots, Novo Nordisk, Odense Robotics, PIAB, and the University of Bremen.

Mikkel Baun Kjærgaard, Project Leader, Professor at SDU, Mobile: +45 21972447, email:

Birgitte Wulff, Communications Advisor, Innovation Fund Denmark. Mobile: +45 61905011, email:

Editing was completed: 16.05.2024