Research Topic

Human safety and comfort in human-robot shared workspaces: from sensing and perception to motion planning and control

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About this Research Topic

Mobile service robots are becoming enabling assistive technologies as co-workers in social environments. However, the first and the most challenging issue to deploy mobile service robots in human populated environments is about how to guarantee human safety and comfort in human-robot shared workspaces. Human ...

Mobile service robots are becoming enabling assistive technologies as co-workers in social environments. However, the first and the most challenging issue to deploy mobile service robots in human populated environments is about how to guarantee human safety and comfort in human-robot shared workspaces. Human physical safety is about how to maintain the minimum physical distance between robots and human while human psychological safety implies that robots are not allowed to cause stress and discomfort. Human risks and their inconveniences when working in human-robot shared workspaces essentially come from unavoidable attack of the robots due to malfunctioning operations caused by either misunderstanding and misinterpreting information extracted from sensing and perception or failures of path planning and motion control. Hence, such functional components and their incorporation play crucial roles on securing human physical and psychological safety in social environments.

This Frontier Research Topic aims at gathering the original contributions about sensing, perception, motion planning, control techniques of mobile service robots for human safety and comfort in social environments. We would like to invite all papers with theoretical and experimental results within, but not limited to, the following topics:

• Current state of the art of human safety and comfort in social environments
• New hardware and software for human safety in social environments
• System design and integration for human safety and comfort in social environments
• New safety rules for human safety in human-robot shared workspaces (beyond the Proxemics – Hall’s model)
• Human face and body detection and tracking
• Human gesture and posture recognition
• Human detection and tracking techniques
• Human-object interaction detection and tracking
• Human interacting group 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
• Human avoiding and approaching techniques
• Human-robot interaction in proximities
• Path planning and motion planning for mobile service robots in social environments
• Robot navigation in dense human crowds
• 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 environments


Keywords: social robot, human safety and comfort, human detection and tracking, perception, motion planning, control


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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