While the Human-Robot Interaction R&D community produces great amounts of scientific outputs on aspects such as efficacy, effectiveness, user satisfaction, emotional impact and social components, the results are scattered in a myriad of different approaches and ways of performing and testing interaction. In consequence, results are not comparable and benchmarking of the various approaches proposed is hardly possible. The community is still missing consensus tools to benchmark robot products and robot applications, although both, robot producers (industry view-point) as well as the robot research community (academic view-point) would profit much from such tools. Modes are required for the standardized assessment of robot products and applications in use in terms of safety, performance, user experience, and ergonomics. The benefit of agreed approaches and methods to assess robots and the interaction with them, is the production of comparable data. In the standardization community, such data is labeled “normative”. This means that it has been formulated via wide consultation in an open and transparent manner. In this way, the results become widely acceptable, and can be exploited for the creation of international quality norms and standards, which in turn would mean measurable robot performances in terms of HRI.

Experts from academia and the industry, as well as standardization experts have joined and launched the euRobotics AISBL topic group “Standardization”. The group strives to develop standardized HRI experiments. Such experiments will allow the community to assess robotic solutions and compare data over different projects. Some of the topics the group is working on are safety, performance, user experience, and modularity of robots and robotic components. The group has organized several workshops on standardized HRI experiments, all of which were well-received by the many participants who attended the respective events.

The next upcoming event organized by the topic group is the workshop “Towards Standardized Experiments in Human-Robot Interaction” at this year’s IROS conference in Hamburg, Germany on September 28, 2015. The topic group members invite interested parties to participate and contribute and in doing so help tackling HRI as a horizontal topic across all robotic domains. For more information refer to the workshop website.