Social robotics envisions a future where robots and people co-exist, collaborate and communicate on human terms, alongside each other in the same environments. The vision stands in stark contrast with how most robots operate today, in secured industrial environments where people either simply do not go, or where you must be trained in specific security measures to enter.
The methods explored in social robotics differ sharply from traditional robot research, and focus on human interaction, collaboration, and social behaviours as applied to robots.
The advent of robots that move autonomously and inhabit environments where people work and socialize opens up a world of new possibilities. At the same time, we face radically new challenges. Robots cohabiting with people are expected to do so on human terms. For that, they will need an entire new range of social and communicative skills, allowing them to interact with people and with other robots in an intuitive and socially acceptable manner. These needs are at the core of the social robotics research field, which as a result is characterized by border-crossing research and industrial technology development. Social robotics has applications in a broad range of areas, for example the intersection of the manufacturing industry and robotics, health and care (not least of the elderly) and teaching/tutoring.