Robots are Taught How to Respect the Human Space


Photo by: padrinan via Pixabay


Scientists from Argentina’s National University of San Juan have given mobile robots a short course on how to avoid collisions with the human beings by teaching them how to respect the human personal space.

With the use of impedance control, the aim of the scientists is to regulate the social dynamics existing between the robot’s environment interactions and its movements. They achieved this by analyzing first how a human follower and a human leader interacts with each other on a defined borders.

The human interactions such as social forces, leading, and following, were fed to the mobile robot. Once programmed, the robot then follows the human with an equal defined borders. However, it does not hamper the social forces created by the human interactions.

National University of San Juan’s postdoctoral researcher Daniel Herrera wrote in the study that “humans respect social zones during different kind[s] of interactions.” He also notes that what impacts the social zones’ distance are personal preferences, cultural expectations, and the specifics of situation and task.

Herrera said that during their experiment, the robot can mimic the actions of the human follower, avoiding the personal space of his leader.

The methods created by the scientists have already been published in a joint publication of Chinese Association of Automation and technical professional association Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Journal of Automatica Sinica.