Universiteit Leiden

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Research project


This project investigates how robot testing facilities could help to optimize the regulation for robot technologies.

2021 - 2022
Eduard Fosch Villaronga
European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 779963 European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 779963

PROPELLING stands for "Pushing forward RObot develoPmEnt for LawmakING," and investigates how to use those testing facilities to advance robot regulation.

From exoskeletons to lightweight robotic suits, wearable robots are changing dynamically and rapidly, challenging the timeliness of laws and regulatory standards that were not prepared for robots that would help wheelchair users walk again. Simultaneously, experimentation is emerging as a critical component in ensuring safety and compliance with existing norms, although using the knowledge generated is not used for policies yet.

Currently, robot testing zones focus on improving specific prototypes and how to commercialize them. However, experimentation could boost standards by providing further guidance, establishing new safety requirements, reformulating existing criteria, or abandoning specific provisions. PROPELLING's goal is to exploit that potential and help policymakers in tackling novel wearable robots.

Picture courtesy from TWIICE

Executed within H2020’s EUROBENCH, PROPELLING will use its robot test facilities, software and databases, to execute several experiments with lower-limb exoskeletons. It will also experiment with a varied set of volunteers to investigate how standards should frame different categories of subjects. The information gathered will then serve to put forward specific, informed recommendations to revise technical standards - in particular the ISO 13482:2014 on safety requirements for personal care robots.

For more information read this conference paper, or take a look at this recorded talk: 

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Academic outputs:

Calleja, C., Drukarch, H., and Fosch-Villaronga, E. (2021). Harnessing robot experimentation to optimise the regulatory framing of emerging robot technologies, Sept 14–16, 2021. 

Calleja, C., Drukarch, H. and Fosch-Villaronga, E. (2021) Towards evidence-based standard-making for robot governance. FSTP PROPELLING H2020 Eurobench project. Paper presented at the H2020 CSA INBOTS 2021 Conference.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, via an Open Call issued and executed under Project EUROBENCH (grant agreement No. 779963).

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