Launch of first blueprint for human robot interaction
8. August 2019 | News, Retail Technology, Visions of Retail

Small Robot Company and John Lewis Partnership join forces

The Small Robot Company has joined forces with the John Lewis Partnership, strategic design consultancy Method and a number of leading robotics companies and industry bodies in the UK, to develop a blueprint for “Human Robotic Interaction” (HRI) in the 21st century.

Envisioned as an open framework to be evolved over time, this groundbreaking initiative will foster and accelerate the safe and ethical adoption of robotics across British industry. It will also 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. The number of industrial robots active in the UK has grown by 30 percent according to the International Federation of Robotics highlighting the need for a framework to govern how robots should interact with humans as we start to encounter them in a wide range of everyday scenarios.

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

The initial principles for the blueprint will be formally presented during a stakeholder consultation event on 1 August at Google’s offices in London.

Ben Scott-Robinson, co-founder, Small Robot Company, comments: “Real world robotics is set to explode. Powered by Artificial Intelligence, robots are now becoming truly autonomous, and we’re about to see a massive influx of commercial robots in the consumer domain. In our shops, our factories, our hotels, our streets and our fields. It’s vital that consumers can trust and feel comfortable with these encounters.”

Source: John Lewis Partnership

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