Kuka researches

Psychosocial aspects of human-robot collaboration

17. Februar 2021, 12:33 Uhr | Andrea Gillhuber
Forschungsprojekt RoSylerNT
In the research project RoSylerNT, the psychosocial aspects of human-robot collaboration is being researched.
© Kuka

How can robots be used outside of production? This is what Kuka is researching in collaboration with the BMBF, the German Sport University and RWTH Aachen University. The RoboGym shows how it can look in reality.

RoSylerNT is the name of the research project in which Kuka has been involved since 2017 together with the German Sport University Cologne and RWTH Aachen. The project is testing a robot-based system for neuromuscular training. While in this project, which is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the German Sport University is focusing primarily on physical parameters, the robot specialist from Augsburg is investigating the psychosocial aspects. These include fear and trust as well as technology acceptance.

The project is exciting because it also examines the benefits of robots outside the production line, focusing primarily on the social acceptance of the mechanical helpers. Nadine Bender, Senior Analyst Social Impacts of Robotics in Group Research at Kuka, sums it up: "With our products, we are changing the world of work, so we have to deal with the effects of this change on people. We are aware of this social responsibility."

Three systems, three applications, different tests

As part of the research project, various devices were developed as executable test systems, the effects of which are now being studied on test subjects. These are a robotic leg press, an automated walking and running trainer, for example for patients after a stroke, and a robot-based carrying aid that assists in handling heavy objects.

Kuka researches - Psychosocial aspects of MRK

Forschungsprojekt RoSylerNT
© Kuka
LBR iiwa trägt mit Proband einen Tisch
© Kuka
Überwachung der Testsysteme
© Kuka

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The latter was developed by Kuka and consists of a mobile autonomous platform and two LBR iiwa. It was tested in Augsburg. 15 test subjects between the ages of 18 and 49 completed various tasks with the MRK system and answered questions. One of these tasks was to carry a table - sometimes with a human, sometimes with a robot. "When carrying with the robot, it was clear that the human was in control and the robot only did what it was supposed to. This avoided communication difficulties," said one of the test subjects after his assignment. "Overall, the communication was clear. Especially through the tablet, you got clear instructions."


  1. Psychosocial aspects of human-robot collaboration
  2. Direct human-robot interaction
  3. RoboGym - The training for top athletes

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