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Abstract

Since 2014, a specific standard was dedicated to the safety certification of personal care robots, which operates in close proximity to humans. These robots served as information providers, object transporters, personal mobility carriers, and security patrollers. In this article, we point out the shortcomings concerning EN ISO 13482:2014, which encompasses guidelines regarding the safety and design of personal care robots. In particular, we argue that the current standard is not suitable for guaranteeing people’s safety when these robots operate in public spaces. Specifically, the standard lacks requirements to protect pedestrians and bystanders. The guideline implicitly assumes private spaces, such as households and offices, present the same hazards as in public spaces. We highlight the existence of at least three properties pertaining to robots’ use in public spaces. These properties include 1) crowds; 2) social norms and proxemics rules and 3) people’s misbehaviours. We discuss how these properties impact robots’ safety. This article aims to raise stakeholders’ awareness on individuals’ safety when robots are deployed in public spaces. This could be achieved by integrating the gaps present in EN ISO 13482:2014 or by creating a new dedicated standard.

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