SecuRoPS addresses the challenges pertaining to the cybersecurity of social robots. The focus is on social robots operating in a public space, which are more vulnerable to digital and physical sabotage, attacks, vandalism, and theft than in a more controlled space.
SecuRoPS develops a user-centred security framework for autonomous social robots that can operate securely in public space. SecuRoPS elicits the threat landscape or attack surface pertaining to social robots and identifies the state of the art on security principles and guidelines on social robots. SecuRoPS develops a cybersecurity framework encompassing a well-defined process, threat models, design principles, and guidelines, to manage security of social robots. The framework offers reusable models or components that can be applied by robot developers, robot owners and other stakeholders to develop secure robots and to monitor and respond to security events. SecuRoPS demonstrates and implements the framework and prototype robots, through pilot cases on developing a social robot for a city ferry in Fredrikstad municipality.
Threat landscape pertaining social robots? is in a constant change. This consequently leads to diverse threat actors related to robots? security. Threat actors varies from ?lone wolf? hacker to highly trained teams who launch complex cyberattacks. Thus, understanding threat landscapes as well as threat actors is a key for an effective risk mitigation. In this connection, in this project (in 2021), we initiated the elicitation process on how potential threat actor will cause a potential attack as well as understanding the methods they are likely to use. This in turn would help outline potential cybersecurity incidents or events that have an impact on confidentiality, integrity, availability, and authorization of information of social robots.
Although social robots are increasingly penetrating our daily lives, introducing them for use in public space is not trivial. For users to accept social robots, a positive user experience (UX) is vital, and it should be considered as a critical part of the user-centred security framework. Therefore, as a part of this project (in 2021), we have carried out a systematic literature review that relies on PRISMA guidelines to find out the challenges and benefits of UX evaluation in social robots and to systematically identify and specify the user needs. The results revealed that the most common methods to evaluate UX in social robots are questionnaires and interviews. This in turn would help to develop user-centred security framework, by providing early feedback on UX goals, and capturing the needs of social robot users as well as robot administrators/owners.
To create a positive user experience and build trust, tailoring the social robot for specific use is essential. This can be achieved by identifying the customer needs and, the context specific security requirements. Therefore, as part of this project (in 2021), we have evaluated the social robot design and assessed options on how to make changes to fit the specific use and considering the placement of the robot on the city ferries. We then created two early-phase concepts, based on the 3D files from PAL Robotics (robot provider) and our assessment: i) a static concept based around a larger screen that replaces the head and neck and goes all the way down to the torso; ii) another static concept following the form of the original design, but with another screen that replaces the head, echoing the current trend of social robots on the market. Further, in connection to these concepts, in 2022, we will continue with revision of initial concepts and requirements to decide: i) the convenience of the chosen robotic platform; ii) the principles to design the interactions and use-cases; and iii) the main interaction modalities.
Finally, as a part of this project (in 2021), to promote collaboration between robot developer, R&D institutions, and universities, we have organized one-day mini-workshop on user experience, social robot perception, concept design, and data impact assessment. This was a mini workshop which had 12 participants representing 4 project partners and PAL robotics team. The mini workshop was held at IRI - Institut de Robotica i Informatica Industrial, CSIC-UPC, Barcelona, Spain. The main focus of this mini workshop was on aspects to use case development, data impact assessment, and to get a closer look at ARI, the social robot which is the center of our project. The mini workshop provides an arena to share knowledge and lesson learned and provide inputs to further development of our research activities.
The SecuRoPS project will develop a user-centred security framework for autonomous social robots that can operate securely in public space. SecuRoPS applies a user-centric approach, where the proposed solution focuses on capturing the needs of social robot users as well as robot administrators/owners. The users are the passers-by that interact with a robot when it is deployed in its intended public space. Developing the security framework requires multidisciplinary expertise. Moreover, a partner with experience in public spaces management needs to participate. SecuRoPS includes a research institute (IFE), academia (HIØ) working in relevant research fields, a public sector actor (Fredrikstad municipality) providing pilot cases, a private company (SNØ design) that is at forefront of industrial design, and international partner (IRI) renowned for research in robotics.
SecuRoPS will investigate the topic of autonomous social robots from the perspectives of: designing social robots for societal needs; accountability of security and privacy of social robots. SecuRoPS will also address the sustainability perspective; the outcomes of the SecuRoPS, including a prototype social robot, will be directly applied in an environment of sustainable cities and communities. Noteworthy, the field studies to be carried out involves a social robot providing daily assistance to the citizens/passengers taking the city ferry in Fredrikstad. These ferry services are being offered by Fredrikstad municipality as a part of its ambitions to provide sustainable – free and green - transportation to its citizens and visitors. This is a cross-cutting and multidisciplinary project with a close collaboration between our partners and strong involvement of public/citizens in a highly realistic social robot setting. SecuRoPS will lead to the advancement of knowledge, expertise, and capacity in the fields of autonomous robots and cybersecurity.