Mobile service robots have been operating in the industry for decades. Recently, they have also entered exhibitions, restaurants, and hotels.
Operating robots in an environment, coexisting with humans, is always challenging, since there will sometimes be situations where the robot and humans have conflicting intentions. Normally, this can be solved smoothly, by communicating via human senses like sight and hearing, in combination with the robot's safety rated collision handling system which guarantees that the robot will not physically harm any human.
However, operating robots in an environment with elderly people, sometimes with impaired, cognitive, and physical skills, is more challenging. This, both due to the risk for safety conflicts, in addition to the high consequence for injuries, if the person falls down to the floor.
International regulations represent the formal requirements to mobile robot systems operating together with humans. However, these regulations, presuppose that the humans have normal cognitive skills, and thus, don't do anything unconsidered. With elderly people, this will not always be the case.
Thus, a standard, mobile service robot for e.g., use in restaurants or in the industry, will NOT satisfy the safety requirements to operate in a nursing home.
PPM has 20 years of experience in advanced robotics, including certification of systems where robots operate in open environment together with humans. PPM always include safety technology, which is certified according to the requiring PLd and PLe standard. This, together with the use of the newest risk analysis and mitigation measures, ensures a safe and trusting coexistence between our service robots and any humans in their vicinity.