Physical Human Robot Interaction and Collaboration


Physical human-robot interaction and cooperation are two fundamental and necessary aspects for integrating robots into our daily lives. The robots are expected to help us in various tasks, of which many require collaborative effort to be successfully completed. In order to achieve such behaviour, the robot must be able to physically interact with the human counterpart and predict the intentions of the human, despite the additional interaction with the uncertain and unpredictable environment. Appropriate robot control methods therefore are essential for the robot to deal with various uncertainties, dynamically aspects and complex task requirements. A promising direction towards this goal is to adaptively regulate mechanical parameters of the robot, based on the task requirements and external feedback.

Another important aspect of robot control in human-robot interaction/collaboration is the presence of the human. The human behaviour is usually highly unpredictable and difficult to model. Indeed recent work at HRI2 laboratory aims at developing appropriate human-robot interfaces to enable the robot to predict or extract the human intention from various feedback modalities (human motor behaviour, vision, interaction force, voice commands, etc.). In addition, other key aspects such as role-allocation in human-robot cooperation and partner’s skill evaluation, which can enable the robot to adapt its behaviour to accommodate for different level of competence and capability of the human will be explored. Our novel techniques are applied to the IIT humanoid robots such as COMAN, iCub, and WALK-MAN in human-humanoid collaborative settings.


  1. L. Peternel, N. Tsagarakis, D. Caldwell and A. Ajoudani, "Adaptation of Robot Physical Behaviour to Human Fatigue in Human-Robot Co-Manipulation", IEEE International Conference on Humanoid Robotics (Humanoids), 2016.
  2. L. Peternel, N. Tsagarakis, and A. Ajoudani, "Towards Multi-Modal Intention Interfaces for Human-Robot Co-Manipulation", IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2016.