People who contact with many others are potential super infectants, like we are very aware of in the Covid 19 pandemic. Several situations of infecting people exist. But, one is the situation in bars and restaurant, which is discussed a lot in the Dutch news. Bartenders are receiving guests and deliver orders. These are tasks that a robot might easily take over, just because it is no super infector. The robot might help us in social distancing. But what are the appropriate interfaces between human and robots? And how to develop a low cost robot for this purpose?
Robot solutions for social distancing are already on the market, but they are either expensive to purchase or limited in functionality. The professionally deployable solutions do also require a high level of technological infrastructure and specialist personnel.
In the Robot is geen superbesmetter (RIGS) project five research groups of four Fontys institutes have united to work on a social distancing robot. We look at the robot from different disciplines:
- Mechanical robot design (Fontys Engineering, Research group Mechatronics and Robotics)
- Interaction Design (Fontys ICT, Research group Interaction Design and Fontys HRM, Research group Mens & Technologie & Smart Working)
- Software (Fontys ICT, Research group High Tech Embedded Software)
- Legal (Fontys Jurisch, Research group Recht en Digitale Technologie)
Fontys student groups have already specified the robot for its mechanical and software, also looking at the legal and human-robot aspects.
Interactions of the student projects:
- Fall 2020 - software setup.
- Spring 2021 - extend the navigation.