PROPELLING H2020 Eurobench

PROPELLING

PROPELLING stands for "Pushing forward RObot develoPmEnt for LawmakING," and investigates how robot testing facilities could help to optimize the regulation for robot technologies.


Our story

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.


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.

The EUROBENCH project aims at creating the first benchmarking framework for robotic systems in Europe. The framework will allow companies and researchers to test the performance of robots at any stage of development.

Presentations

Fosch-Villaronga, E. & Drukarch, H. (2022). From testbeds to policy-making.Opportunities and challenges of experiments in regulating wearable robots. Complutense University of Madrid, 28 April 2022.

Calleja, C., & Fosch-Villaronga, E. (2021). Harnessing robot experimentation to optimise the regulatory framing of emerging robot technologies. Presentation at the COST 16116 & H2020 Eurobench Summer Webinar Series on Standardisation & Benchmarking, 28 Sept.

Academic outputs

Calleja, C., Drukarch, H., and Fosch-Villaronga, E. (2022). Towards Evidence-Based Standard-Making for Robot Governance. In: Pons, J. L. (2022) Interactive Robotics: Legal, Ethical, Social and Economic Aspects. Biosystems & Biorobotics, vol. 30, Springer., 220-227, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-04305-5_36.

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. (Link to an external site)

Drukarch, H., Calleja, C., and Fosch-Villaronga, E. (2021). Building a dynamic framework for evidence utilization in policymaking for robot technologies. Paper presented at the H2020 CSA INBOTS 2021 Conference, May 18-19, 2021.


Calleja, C., Drukarch, H., and Fosch-Villaronga, E. (2022). Towards Evidence-Based Standard-Making for Robot Governance. In: Pons, J. L. (2022) Interactive Robotics: Legal, Ethical, Social and Economic Aspects. Biosystems & Biorobotics, vol. 30, Springer., 220-227, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-04305-5_36.
Despite the growing body of literature highlighting the legal and ethical questions robots raise, robot developers struggle to incorporate other aspects than mere physical safety into robot design to make them comprehensively safe. The chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries established years ago use evidence-based frameworks that ensure the safety of these products EU-wide. However, these evidence-based frameworks have yet to be seen for robot technology. As a result, current robot technology raises many legal and ethical issues. The PROPELLING project aims to investigate how robot testbeds can be harnessed as data generators for standard-makers. To this end, the project focuses on testing safety requirements for lower-limb exoskeletons to understand whether standards, particularly ISO 13482:2014, address safety sufficiently and comprehensively and use the H2020 Eurobench testing beds and data as a means for appraising the standard. We suggest that linking experimentation settings with standard-making processes could speed up the creation, revision, or discontinuation of norms governing robot technology.

Deliverables

Forthcoming

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)