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last update: 13.11.2003


Safety / Maintenance / Diagnoses


The employment of robot systems which are to work directly with people naturally places highest demands on system saftey, reliability, and maintainability.

A suitable safety concept must account for the integrity of the system just as it must account for the integrity of its surroundings. External events affecting the proper function of the system and internal error conditions must be identified and classified according to their inherent risk factors.

The capability of performing an exhaustive autodiagnosis is of importance not only with regards to the safety of the system, but also with regards to offering the untrained user support in troubleshooting. In the scenarios discussed above involving robotic household assistants and manufacturing assistants, it cannot be assumed that the robot will be maintained by thehuman user himself, or that service personnel will be always and immediately available. This makes it necessary to develop and explore suitable means of telediagnosis and remote maintenance.

In the case of a failure, intelligent robot assistants must be able to explain both their internal status and how that status came to be, recommend appropriate steps to remedy the failure, rectify failures itself where possible, or compensate for them through appropriate countermeasures (error recovery).

The following research topics are investigated in MORPHA:

  • telediagnosis, telemaintenance, and teleoptimization
  • autodiagnosis
  • error recovery

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