Service robots in practical use

Two ADLATUS robots, which we are investigated in the studies of our project, are now permanently installed in the parking garage ‘Am Bahnhof’ in Ulm. ZEN-MRI is providing research support for the introduction into practice.

During our project, parts of Ulm’s city centre are repeatedly transformed into a real-life laboratory. This will make it possible to gain realistic insights into human-robot interaction. To this end, the robots of our consortium partner ADLATUS are driving around public spaces in Ulm. However, they not only clean and sweep the test areas, but are already being used by Ulmer Parkbetriebsgesellschaft (PBG) as helpers in everyday work. The subsidiary of the city of Ulm has now permanently installed two new robot systems from ADLATUS in the parking garage “Am Bahnhof” and the “Bahnhofspassage” and plans to use them on a daily basis. The two robots that PBG has now purchased are the ADLATUS SR1300 sweeping robot system and the ADLATUS CR700C cleaning robot system – equipped with a service station. The Ulmer Parkbetriebsgesellschaft is the first end customer for the latter. The predecessor model has already been in use in the parking garage “Am Rathaus” since 2018.

Interaction between robots and human team partners

For the employees of the PBG, the use of robots should make their work easier. After all, both the parking garage “Am Bahnhof” and the passageway there are highly frequented areas that lead directly to city centre and the train station. The introduction of robotic colleagues in everyday working life also offers very interesting questions for the project and the opportunity to research the experiences of PBG employees in this process. The expectations, wishes, hopes and fears as well as the initial and then increasingly familiar interaction between the robots and their human team partners provide valuable insights from daily use and working reality for our research questions regarding the harmonious introduction of robots in various scenarios of public life. After all, in order to perform their tasks efficiently and safely, robots must also interact with their users in an acceptable, trustworthy and considerate way.