A group of robotics companies, along with the John Lewis Partnership, the strategic design consultancy Method and industry bodies in the UK, are looking to foster and accelerate the safe and ethical adoption of robotics across British industry.
The initiative will help define how autonomous robotic technology should interact with people in the real world, across different environments and sectors including manufacturing, retail and farming.
Robot technology is increasingly ubiquitous across all sectors of the economy, with the explosion in autonomous robotics fuelled by Artificial Intelligence. In fact, the number of industrial robots active in the UK has grown by over 30% according to the International Federation of Robotics.
As a result, there is a real need for a framework to govern robot interaction with humans especially when the use of autonomous robot technology to assist human workers is fast becoming a very real prospect for the future.
According to the organisations involved, the Human Robotic Interaction blueprint will look to define:
- the proper characteristics and states of the robot persona
- how the user/ robot relationship should function
- how robots should be properly programmed - to ensure people find them engaging, trust-provoking and safe
- how a robot should interact within the boundaries of its geospatial map
- how a robot should respond to humans it encounters during the course of its work.
With robots expected to increasingly appear in our shops, factories, hotels, streets and in our farms this move has to be welcomed, as it is vital that consumers can trust and feel comfortable when they encounter robots in their everyday lives.