Ulm (dpa / lsw) – In Ulm, the Kehrwoche is being digitized. Autonomous cleaning robots have been used in the station passage for research purposes in the past few days. But how do people react to these robots? The University of Ulm, the Stuttgart Media University, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering and Organization IAO Stuttgart, the Ulm company Adlatus Robotics and the city of Ulm are investigating this in a cooperation project.

For a week, the researchers observed human-robot interaction with a good 70 test subjects in the train station passage. Further field trials are planned at other locations in the city in the summer. An insight into the research was given on Monday.

“What are robots allowed to do? How can we adapt them to people’s needs? How close can they get to people?” The field trials should provide answers to these and other questions, explained project manager Johannes Kraus from the Institute for Psychology and Education at the University of Ulm. Mayor Gunter Czisch (CDU) was happy about the “innovative sweeping week”.

Test person Gertrud Vaas made suggestions for optimization. She is head of the Alb-Donau-Riss district group of the Württemberg Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired. “If I got too close to the sweeping robot, it kicked my stick away,” she said. “Or the transport robot would need a higher border that you can grab,” she explained. “Sure, a sighted person doesn’t think about it, but we often touch things for orientation.”

Such a robot costs between 50,000 and 75,000 euros, explained Siegfried Hochdorfer from the company Adlatus, which is behind the robots. A machine has had a permanent place of work in the underground car park at Ulm City Hall for years. The humanization had already started there, said Mayor Czisch. “The robot’s name is Cordula Green.”