Safety for Physical Human-Robot Interaction

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, we report on different approaches to dealing with the problem of achieving the best performance under the condition that safety is provided throughout task execution. We also report on intelligent assist devices (IADs) that go beyond conventional notions of robot safety to protect human operators from harm, such as cumulative trauma disorders. However, IADs and other physical human–robot interaction (pHRI) devices are themselves generally powerful enough to cause harm. We argue that the differences between pHRI applications and conventional industrial manipulation requires that safety and reliability standards be rethought, and we offer a preview of the directions currently being undertaken by international standards committees.
We chapter discuss the new frontiers of robotic physical interaction with humans, describing motivations and applications of safe pHRI. The state of the art, and the technical challenges to develop new robotic systems for safe and effective collaboration with people, are discussed, subdividing the exposition into hands-off and hands-on pHRI systems. We present an overview of the applicable safety standards and their ongoing development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer Handbook of Robotics
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-540-30301-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-540-23957-4
StatePublished - 2008

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