Service robots are becoming a common feature in our daily lives: consumer products, such as robot vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers and cleaning robots for windows and pools, are being sold in increasing numbers from year to year. At the same time, new consumer robots for special applications are constantly appearing on the market.
A particular focus in the development of service robots for everyday tasks is on assisting elderly or disabled people. The explicit wish of these people is to stay in their own homes for as long as possible and be dependent on others as little as possible. The use of technical assistive systems or assistive robots supports and enhances these people’s independence, and therefore helps to improve their quality of life.
Besides assisting people in need of help, robots can also help care givers or medical staff and reduce their workload as they carry out their tasks, e.g. by improving the efficiency and ergonomics of common care aids. In other personal services, too, work equipment can be optimized by implementing robot technologies. This improves employees’ working conditions as well as raising the standard of their work.
Another important application area of robotic technologies in the public sector is entertainment and information. In museums and at trade fairs or other events, service robots are always a special attraction. They interact with visitors, play with children or even give guided tours.