Physical human—robot interaction and cooperation has become a topic of increasing importance and of major focus in robotics research. An essential requirement of a robot designed for high mobility and direct interaction with human users or uncertain environments is that it must in no case pose a threat to the human. Until recently, quite a few attempts were made to investigate real-world threats via collision tests and use the outcome to considerably improve safety during physical human—robot interaction. In this paper, we give an overview of our systematic evaluation of safety in human—robot interaction, covering various aspects of the most significant injury mechanisms. In order to quantify the potential injury risk emanating from such a manipulator, impact tests with the DLR-Lightweight Robot III were carried out using standard automobile crash test facilities at the German Automobile Club (ADAC). Based on these tests, several industrial robots of different weight have been evaluated and the influence of the robot mass and velocity have been investigated. The evaluated non-constrained impacts would only partially capture the nature of human—robot safety. A possibly constrained environment and its effect on the resulting human injuries are discussed and evaluated from different perspectives. As well as such impact tests and simulations, we have analyzed the problem of the quasi-static constrained impact, which could pose a serious threat to the human even for low-inertia robots under certain circumstances. Finally, possible injuries relevant in robotics are summarized and systematically classified.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Alin Albu-Schäffer
Münchner Str. 2, 82230 Wessling
Tel. +49 8153 28-3689
2002: PhD Degree at the Technical University Munich, Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology
1988 –1993: Technical University Timisoara, Department of Electronics and Telecommunications, specialization: Industrial Robots
04.2013 - pres.: Full professor, Technical University Munich, Department of Computer Science, Chair of “Sensor Based Robotic Systems and Intelligent Assistance Systems”
07.2012 - pres.: Director of the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, DLR – German Aerospace Center
07.2009 - pres.: Head of the Department “Mechatronic Components and Systems” in the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics
2009: I was offered an appointment as full professor at the Technical University of Vienna. I declined the position in favour of the DLR department lead.
2007-2012: Lecturer at the TU Munich, Department of Electrical Engineering.
2005: DLR - Coordinator of the “Intelligent Manipulation Group”
2002: DLR - Research engineer
1996: DLR - PhD student
1995: DLR – start of appointment at the Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics
· Doctor Honoris Causa, Universitatea Politehnica Timisoara, Romania, 2016
· IEEE Fellow Grade "for contributions to compliant and lightweight robots", 2016
· EU-Robotics TechTransfer Award, Third Prize, on behalf of DLR, together with the Spin-Off Company Kastanienbaum, 2016
· ICRA Best Automation Award Finalist, for the paper: A Passivity-Based Approach for Trajectory Tracking and Link-Side Damping of Compliantly Actuated Robots: M. Keppler, D. Lakatos, Ch. Ott, A. Albu-Schäffer, 2016
· IEEE King-Sun Fu Best Paper Award of the Transactions on Robotics for the paper “Robots Driven by Compliant Actuators: Optimal Control Under Actuation Constraints”, 2014
· IEEE King-Sun Fu Best Paper Award of the Transactions on Robotics for the paper “Human Like Adaptation of Force and Impedance in Stable and Unstable Interactions”, 2012
· IEEE Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2012) Best Video Award, as Coordinator of the VIACTORS consortium, 2012
· IEEE Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2012), IROS 2012 Best Jubilee Video Award, with a summary of DLR research results on variable compliance actuator robots, 2012
· EU-Robotics TechTransfer Award, on behalf of DLR, together with Ralf Koeppe (KUKA), for the technology transfer of the light-weight robot, Vasteras, 2011
· ICRA 2010 Best Cognitive Robotics Paper Award Finalist for the paper: “Biomimetic motor behaviour for simultaneous adaptation of force, impedance and trajectory in interaction tasks” G. Ganesh, A. Albu-Schäffer, M. Haruno, M. Kawato, E. Burdet, 2010
· Walter Reis Innovation Award for Robotics 2010, 3. prize.
· ICRA 2009 Best Service Robotics Award for the paper: The “DLR Crash Report”: Towards a Standard Crash-Testing Protocol for Robot Safety - Part I: Results – Part II: Discussions, IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation, Sami Haddadin, A. Albu-Schäffer, M. Frommberger, J. Rossmann, G. Hirzinger, 2009
· ICRA 2009 Best Video Award for"Rolling' Justin - Mobile Platform with Variable Base" Ch. Borst, T. Wimböck, F. Schmidt, M. Fuchs, B. Brunner, F. Zacharias, P. Robuffo-Giordano, R. Konietschke, W. Sepp, S. Fuchs, Ch. Rink, A. Albu-Schäffer, G. Hirzinger, IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation
· ICRA 2009 Best Video Award Finalist for"The DLR MiroSurge - A Robotic System for Surgery" R. Konietschke, U. Hagn, M. Nickl, S. Jörg, A. Tobergte, G. Passig, U. Seibold, L. Le-Tien, B. Kübler, M. Gröger, F. Fröhlich, Ch. Rink, A. Albu-Schäffer, M. Grebenstein, T. Ortmaier, G. Hirzinger
· Best Application Paper Award for the paper: “Collision Detection & Reaction: A Contribution to Safe Physical Human-Robot Interaction” IEEEInt. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems, IROS2008, Sami Haddadin, A. Albu-Schäffer, Alessandro De Luca, Gerd Hirzinger.
· Outstanding Paper Award for the paper: “The DLR MIRO: a versatile lightweight robot for surgical applications”, Industrial Robot Journal, 2008, U. Hagn et. al.
· 3. Prize ICCAS/Hearth Centre Leipzig CURAC 7. Conference of the German Society of Computer and Robot Assisted Surgery „DLR MiroSurge-Towards Versatility in Surgical A. Tobergte et.al., 2008
· Outstanding Paper Award for the paper “The DLR lightweight robot - design and control concepts for robots in human environments” Industrial Robot Journal, 2007, A. Albu-Schäffer, S. Haddadin, Ch. Ott, A. Stemmer, T. Wimböck und G. Hirzinger.
· DLR Science Award 2007: Award of the Management Board of DLR for the paper „A Unified Passivity-based Control Framework for Position, Torque and Impedance Control of Flexible Joint Robots”, A. Albu-Schäffer.
· DLR Innovation Award 2007, to O. Eiberger, A. Beyer, M. Schedl, A. Albu-Schäffer, G. Plank, G. Schreiber for the technology transfer of the DLR Light-weight Robot, 28./29.11.2007, Göttingen, 2007
· ICRA 2007 Best Video Award for the contribution: „A Humanoid Upper Body System for Two-Handed Manipulation“, Ch. Borst, Ch. Ott, T. Wimböck, B. Brunner, F. Zacharias, B. Bäuml, U. Hillenbrandt, S. Haddadin, A. Albu-Schäffer, G. Hirzinger, 2007
· Best Paper Award in at-Automatisierungstechnik 2005 with the paper: Kartesische Impedanzregelung von Robotern mit elastischen Gelenken: Ein passivitätsbasierter Ansatz, Ch. Ott, A. Albu-Schäffer, A. Kugi, S. Stramigioli, and G. Hirzinger, at-Automatisierungstechnik, Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, s. 378-388, August 2005.
· Best Paper Award on Mechatronics VDI Wissensforum IWB GmbH T. Ortmaier, C. Ott, H. Weiß, U. Hagn, M. Grebenstein, M. Nickl, A. Albu-Schäffer, S. Jörg, R. Konietschke, G. Hirzinger, Essenreiter, Bertram, 2005.
· VDI/VDE award of a supervised master thesis (Christian Geist) 2003.