It Is (Almost) All about Human Safety: A Novel Paradigm for Robot Design, Control, and Planning

  • Sami Haddadin
  • Sven Parusel
  • Rico Belder
  • Alin Albu-Schäffer
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8153)


In this paper we review our work on safe control, acting, and planning in human environments. In order for a robot to be able to safely interact with its environment it is necessary to be able to react to unforeseen events in real-time on basically all levels of abstraction. Having this goal in mind, our contributions reach from fundamental understanding of human injury due to robot-human collisions as the underlying metric for “safe” behavior, various interaction control schemes that ground on the basic components impedance control and collision behavior, to safe real-time motion planning and behavior based control as an interface level for task planning. Based on this foundation, we also developed joint interaction planners for role allocation in human-robot collaborative assembly, as well as reactive safety oriented replanning algorithms. A very recent step was the development of novel programming paradigms that act as a simple yet powerful interface between programmer, automatic planning, and the robot. A significant amount of our work on robot safety and control has found found its way into international standardization committees, products, and was applied in numerous real-world applications.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Albu-Schäffer, A., Haddadin, S., Ott, C., Stemmer, A., Wimböck, T., Hirzinger, G.: The DLR lightweight robot - lightweight design and soft robotics control concepts for robots in human environments. Industrial Robot Journal 34(5), 376–385 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Albu-Schäffer, A., Ott, C., Hirzinger, G.: A passivity based cartesian impedance controller for flexible joint robots - Part II: Full state feedback, impedance design and experiments. In: Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2004), New Orlenas, USA, pp. 2666–2673 (2004)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Albu-Schäffer, A., Ott, C., Hirzinger, G.: A unified passivity-based control framework for position, torque and impedance control of flexible joint robots. The Int. J. of Robotics Research 26, 23–39 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bischoff, R., Kurth, J., Schreiber, G., Koeppe, R., Albu-Schäffer, A., Beyer, A., Eiberger, O., Haddadin, S., Stemmer, A., Grunwald, G., Hirzinger, G.: The kuka-dlr lightweight robot arm: a new reference platform for robotics research and manufacturing. In: International Symposium on Robotics (ISR 2010), Munich, Germany (2010)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Craig, J., Raibert, M.: A systematic method for hybrid position/force control of a manipulator. In: IEEE Computer Software Applications Conf., pp. 446–451 (1979)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    De Luca, A., Albu-Schäffer, A., Haddadin, S., Hirzinger, G.: Collision detection and safe reaction with the DLR-III lightweight manipulator arm. In: IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2006), Beijing, China, pp. 1623–1630 (2006)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Goldsmith, P.B., Francis, B., Goldenberg, A.: Stability of hybrid position/force control applied to manipulators with flexible joints. Int. Journal of Robotics and Automation (14), 146–159 (1999)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Haddadin, S., Albu-Schäffer, A., Frommberger, M., Rossmann, J., Hirzinger, G.: The “DLR Crash Report”: Towards a standard crash-testing protocol for robot safety - part I: Results. In: IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2008), Kobe, Japan, pp. 272–279 (2009)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Haddadin, S., Albu-Schäffer, A., Hirzinger, G.: Dummy crash-tests for the evaluation of rigid human-robot impacts. In: IARP International Workshop on Technical Challenges and for Dependable Robots in Human Environments (IARP 2007), Rome, Italy (2007)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Haddadin, S., Albu-Schäffer, A., Hirzinger, G.: Safety evaluation of physical human-robot interaction via crash-testing. In: Robotics: Science and Systems Conference (RSS 2007), Atlanta, USA, pp. 217–224 (2007)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Haddadin, S., Albu-Schäffer, A., Hirzinger, G.: Requirements for safe robots: Measurements, analysis & new insights. The Int. J. of Robotics Research 28(11-12), 1507–1527 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Haddadin, S., Albu-Schäffer, A., Hirzinger, G.: Soft-tissue injury in robotics. In: IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2010), Anchorage, Alaska, pp. 3462–3433 (2010)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Haddadin, S., Albu-Schäffer, A., Hirzinger, G.: Soft-tissue injury caused by sharp tools: Definitions, experiments and countermeasures. Accepted at: IEEE Robotics and Automation Mag. (2011)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Haddadin, S., Albu-Schäffer, A., Luca, A.D., Hirzinger, G.: Collision detection & reaction: A contribution to safe physical human-robot interaction. In: IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2008), Nice, France, pp. 3356–3363 (2008)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Haddadin, S., Belder, R., Albu-Schäffer, A.: Dynamic motion planning for robots in partially unknown environments. In: IFAC World Congress (IFAC 2011), Milano, Italy, vol. 18 (2011)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Haddadin, S., Haddadin, S., Khoury, A., Rokahr, T., Parusel, S., Burgkart, R., Bicchi, A., Albu-Schäffer, A.: On making robots understand safety: Embedding injury knowledge into control. Int. J. of Robotics Research 31, 1578–1602 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Haddadin, S., Suppa, M., Fuchs, S., Bodenmüller, T., Albu-Schäffer, A., Hirzinger, G.: Towards the robotic co-worker. In: International Symposium on Robotics Research (ISRR 2009), Lucerne, Switzerland (2009)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Haddadin, S., Urbanek, H., Parusel, S., Burschka, D., Roßmann, J., Albu-Schäffer, A., Hirzinger, G.: Realtime reactive motion generation based on variable attractor dynamics and shaped velocities. In: IEEE/RSJ Int. Conf. on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2010), Taipeh, Taiwan, pp. 3109–3116 (2010)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hogan, N.: Impedance control: An approach to manipulation: Part I - theory, Part II - implementation, Part III - applications. Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement and Control 107, 1–24 (1985)MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ott, C.: Cartesian Impedance Control of Redundant and Flexible-Joint Robots. Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated (2008)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Park, J., Haddadin, S., Song, J., Albu-Schäffer, A.: Designing optimally safe robot surface properties for minimizing the stress characteristics of human-robot collisions. In: IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2011), Shanghai, China, pp. 5413–5420 (2011)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Parusel, S., Haddadin, S., Albu-Sch, A.: Modular state-based behavior control for safe human-robot interaction: A lightweight control architecture for a lightweight robot. In: IEEE Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2011), Shanghai, China, pp. 4298–4305 (2011)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Stemmer, A., Albu-Schäffer, A., Hirzinger, G.: An analytical method for the planning of robust assembly tasks of complex shaped planar parts. In: Int. Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2007), Rome, Italy, pp. 317–323 (2007)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Vogel, J., Haddadin, S., Simeral, J.D., Stavisky, D., Bacher, S.D., Hochberg, L.R., Donoghue, J.P., van der Smagt, P.: Continuous control of the DLR Lightweight Robot III by a human with tetraplegia using the BrainGate2 neural interface system. In: International Symposium on Experimental Robotics (ISER 2010), Dehli, India (2010)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Yang, C., Gowrishankar, G., Haddadin, S., Parusel, S., Albu-Schäffer, A., Burdet, E.: Human like adaptation of force and impedance in stable and unstable interactions. Accepted: IEEE Transactions on Robotics (2011)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Zollo, L., Siciliano, B., De Luca, A., Guglielmelli, E., Dario, P.: Compliance control for an anthropomorphic robot with elastic joints: Theory and experiments. ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurements and Control (127), 321–328 (2005)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sami Haddadin
    • 1
  • Sven Parusel
    • 1
  • Rico Belder
    • 1
  • Alin Albu-Schäffer
    • 1
  1. 1.Robotics and Mechatronics CenterDLRGermany

Personalised recommendations