Competence Area "Interaction"

Many of the approaches taken towards robot safety in industry may not be acceptable (e.g. warning sounds, flashing lights etc.) or feasible (e.g. use of enclosures, interlocks and safety guards) in a home environment. Safe human-robot

interaction must consider the factors of human behaviour, especially when the robot is moving when human beings are present. Furthermore, one important aspect is to model intuitive behaviour while robots and humans work cooperatively, so that the robot can work adaptively with human beings without harming them with conflicting movements.

There are two main aspects to the use of social cues for enhancing safety with robots: 1) The robot can express social behaviour which intuitively informs the user that a potentially hazardous action by the robot is imminent or under way, and 2) the robot can actively monitor the human user's social behaviour and modify its own actions, and ultimately learn to avoid unsafe interactions. In this competence area, several approaches are explored to identify how and to which extent a robot can use information that goes beyond the analysis of the current situation and takes into account knowledge about its human interaction partners.