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New publication ERC StG Safe & Sound: Safety and Exoskeletons

We are pleased to announce a groundbreaking research study delving into crucial aspects of safety and responsibility in the domain of personal care robots, explicitly focusing on robotic lower-limb exoskeletons.

The research rigorously analyzes and classifies the regulatory gaps and inconsistencies present in ISO 13482:2014, which outlines "Safety Requirements for Personal Care Robots." The specific focus of the study is on robotic lower-limb exoskeletons used in everyday activities. While ISO 13482:2014 represents a significant milestone in regulating wearable robots, the research findings reveal that it inadequately addresses safety concerns. This deficiency leads to a general oversight of critical legal, ethical, and social considerations when designing robots, potentially resulting in systems that may inadvertently harm end-users.

Despite these identified limitations and barriers to the development of safe technologies, there has been a notable absence of a comprehensive assessment of how the standard governs the development of exoskeletons and whether it requires enhancement in light of ethical, legal, and societal concerns.

To bridge this crucial gap, the research paper compiles pertinent areas for improvement within ISO 13482:2014, informed by ethical and societal considerations. The findings are presented in an accessible manner, accompanied by concrete recommendations to assist decision-makers in addressing the standard's shortcomings.


  • Policies and laws for healthcare robots are scattered and cover their issues unevenly.
  • ISO 13482:2014 falls short in addressing personal care safety sufficiently and comprehensively.
  • Intersectional aspects like gender, sex, and age significantly influence human-robot interaction safety.
  • Incomplete standard guidance hampers developers from creating safe robots.

Read the article

You can access the article by following this link


The research has been authored by Eduard Fosch-Villaronga, Carlos José Calleja, and Hadassah Drukarch, affiliated with the eLaw Center for Law and Digital Technologies at Leiden University in The Netherlands, in collaboration with Diego Torricelli, who works at the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) in Spain.

Eduard Fosch-Villaronga, Hadassah Drukarch and Carlos José Calleja

ERC StG Safe & Sound

ERC StG SAFE & SOUND has the ambition to connect the policy cycle with data generated in robot testing zones to support evidence-based policymaking for robot technologies. Want to know more? Check the project's website


This project has been partly funded by the Safe and Sound project, a project that has received funding from the European Union's Horizon-ERC program, Grant Agreement No. 101076929. Views and opinions expressed are, however, those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Council. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them. This project has also 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).

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