During the Versailles Summit in June 1982, the G7 countries decided to set up a major program of Technology, Growth and Employment. This included an eighteen projects involving advanced robotics, for which Japan and France were the co-managers.
The continuation of this project in the form of an international program in advanced robotics (International Advanced Robotics Program IARP), was approved at a meeting of participating countries in April 1986. Since then, independently of the G7, IARP continued with the main objectives were those set at the Summit of Versailles:
"Facilitate and support international cooperation in order to develop advanced robotic systems capable of providing human activity and work in difficult, painful or dangerous."
Member countries : Germany, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, China, Korea, Spain, USA, France, Italy, Japan, UK, Russia.
Observers : C.E, New Zealand.
IARP activity is driven by the meeting of representatives of member and observer countries at an annual meeting, the Joint Coordinating Forum, which elects a president in charge of monitoring the decisions for the next year. Since May 1994, the Program has a President (Norman Caplan, USA) elected by the JCF for three years, renewable three times. France provides the Secretariat with full-function (G. Giralt, Secretary General) since September 1995 (logistics provided by the LAAS-CNRS).
The effort to structure the sake of continuity and efficiency has been pursued by the decision of the establishment, at the JCF of September 1997 (Montreal) of the Executive to ensure the enforcement of decisions and with capabilities decision on the matter under urgent. The Executive comprises the President, the Secretary General and the President of the last JCF and two other members appointed by the JCF. An updated version of the original Charter specifies the organization and operating rules of the IARP.
Objectives and directions of actions of the Programme have been a report prepared by the Secretariat: "Future Impact of Technology Robotics Research and Practical Utilization." This report was submitted to the JCF in Karlsruhe in October 1996 which approved its contents and established an Executive Summary voted unanimously that the text is well Orientation Program.
An updated report is currently being developed (see a preliminary draft guidance, Robotics Research Directions at the Outset of the Century).