Robotic Co-workers 4.0: Human Safety and Comfort 
in Human-Robot Interactive Social Environments
A half-day workshop at IROS 2018
Friday morning (9:00 - 13:30), October 5th, 2018
Madrid, Spain
(Room: OSLO - 4.R.3)


Professional and personal service robots are becoming enabling assistive technologies for social interactive environments. However, the first and the most challenging issue with respect to deploying service robots in human populated environments is how to guarantee human safety and comfort in human-robot shared workspaces. Human physical safety is concerned with how to maintain the minimum physical distance between robots and humans, while human psychological comfort implies that robots should not cause stress and discomfort to humans when working with or around them. Human risks and their inconveniences when working in an interactive social environment essentially come from unavoidable situations due to robot malfunctioning operations caused by either misunderstanding and misinterpreting information extracted from sensing and perception or failures of path planning and motion control. Furthermore, humans may feel uncomfortable as well as fear and stress towards service robots as such robots do not behave in the natural way of humans with respect to their social situations, contexts, and cultures. It is important to find out a methodological approach of incorporating social signals, cues, and norms into sensing, perception, path planning, motion planning and control of the robot control architecture so that the robots are capable of securing human physical safety and ensuring psychological comfort when interacting and collaborating with humans in human-robot shared work spaces.

The primary objective of this workshop is to create an open interactive forum for researchers, engineers, developers and entrepreneurs of professional and personal service robots as well as psychologists and sociologists who are interested in the impacts of robotics and AI. Our goal is to gather speakers and an audience from multiple disciplines to discuss about challenges and methodologies of how to guarantee human safety and comfort in order to accelerate deployment of service robots into human-robot shared work spaces. Last but not least, through this workshop, we aim to deliver our main message to all the targeted audience that human safety and comfort must be critically considered because it is one of the most important issues we must address in order to deploy robotic co-workers in human-robot shared work spaces, especially when human society is moving towards cyber-societies in which humans and robots will harmoniously live and work together.

Topics of interest

This half-day workshop aims to generate an interactive forum for researchers who are interested in human safety and comfort in human-robot shared workplaces. We are committed to open-end discussions on all aspects of guaranteeing human safety and comfort in human-robot interactive social environments with, but not limited to, the following topics: 

  •        Current state-of-the-art in human safety and comfort in interactive social environments
  •        New hardware and software design for human safety and comfort
  •        System design and integration for human safety and comfort 
  •        Safety rules for human safety in human-robot shared workspaces 
  •        Ethics for human safety and comfort
  •        Human detection and tracking techniques in shared environments
  •        Human face and body detection and tracking
  •        Human gestures and posture recognition 
  •        Human-object interaction and human-robot handover detection and tracking 
  •        Human group interaction detection and tracking 
  •        Sensor fusion techniques to extract social cues and signals 
  •        Learning algorithms for interpretation of social signals and cues in contexts 
  •        Human aware robot navigation techniques 
  •        Robot navigation in dynamic social environments
  •        Robot avoiding and approaching techniques 
  •        Human-robot interaction in close proximity  
  •        Path planning and motion planning for mobile service robots in social environments 
  •        Control engineering applied for services mobile robots 
  •        Real-time control and optimization of robot operations in social environments 
  •        Applications of mobile service robots in social environment