Follow-up tests to the BGHM Study "Collaborative Robots: Determination of Pain Thresholds at the Human-Machine Interface"

Project No. FF-FP 0411


completed 04/2018


Collaborative robots allow for fenceless operation in close proximity to humans. In the perspective of occupational safety and health bodies such a constellation improves industrial workplaces, especially in terms of ergonomics and equal access to work for people with different need.

Cluster Analysis

The objective of the cluster analysis was to estimate limit values for the non-tested body parts.

Impact Study

The objective of the volunteer study was to fortify the results of the former volunteer study by testing another group of 20 volunteers.


Cluster Analysis

The methodology utilized a comparison between the tested and non-tested body parts. If such body parts shared similar anatomical textures, the limit values for the tested body part was transferred to the non-tested one. In parallel, the Fraunhofer IFF did a literature survey and extracted data out of more than 800 sources. It used the data to evaluate if the protective effect of the estimated limit values is sufficient and acceptable in terms of representing a stress level that is definitely not beyond the onset of pain.

Impact Study

The applied methodology relied on a pendulum to load the volunteers with impacts at different body locations. During a particular test the impact energy was successively increased until the volunteer felt a slight pain. The Fraunhofer IFF used differently shaped impactors.


Cluster Analysis

The cluster analysis achieved limit values for all non-tested body parts. The gathered data from literature indicates that the estimated limit values are conservative enough.

Impact Study

The acquired data were combined with those from the former study and yielded limit values for 21 body parts as specified by DGUV paper FBHM 080.

Last Update:

31 Jul 2018


Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • Fraunhofer-Institut für Fabrikbetrieb und -automatisierung IFF

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

mechanical hazards


man-machine interface, new technologies

Description, key words:

Collaborative Robots, Pain Threshold, Human-Machine Interface