International Journal of Social Robotics

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 235-252

First online:

Safety Analysis for a Human-Friendly Manipulator

  • Sami HaddadinAffiliated withInstitute of Robotics and Mechatronics, DLR—German Aerospace Center Email author 
  • , Alin Albu-SchäfferAffiliated withInstitute of Robotics and Mechatronics, DLR—German Aerospace Center
  • , Gerd HirzingerAffiliated withInstitute of Robotics and Mechatronics, DLR—German Aerospace Center

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The DLR Lightweight Robot III (LWR-III) developed at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is characterized by low inertial properties, torque sensing in each joint, and a load to weight ratio similar to humans. These properties qualify it for applications requiring high mobility and direct interaction with human users or uncertain environments. An essential requirement for such a robot is that it must under no circumstances pose a threat to the human operator. To actually quantify the potential injury risk emanating from the manipulator, impact test were carried out using standard automobile crash-test facilities at the ADAC (German automobile club). Furthermore, we introduce our analysis for soft-tissue injury based on swine experiments with the LWR-III. This paper gives an overview about the variety of investigations necessary to provide a safety analysis of a human-friendly robot based on biomechanical injury results. We believe this paper can provide a guideline for the robotics community for future qualifications of other robots and thus serve as a key component to bring robots in our everyday life.


Human-friendly robot Robot safety Physical Human-Robot Interaction Crash-testing Soft-tissue injury Collision detection