ARSO Special Session 2023



Organized Session on Socio-physical Interaction Skills for Cooperative Human-Robot Systems in Agile Production

Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday, June 5/6/7th, 2023

Robots are on the verge of co-existing with humans on and beyond industrial sites. They must manage physical and social interactions with humans to achieve reconfigurable and resource-efficient production while improving human comfort and trust in automation. Thus, developing socio-physically aware and ergonomic skills and deploying them in robots capable of reconfigurable productive systems would leverage existing and new systems by making them accessible and understandable to everyone.
Two elements should come together to guarantee a successful interaction: how the robot understands and reacts to the human. Given that humans are unfamiliar with interacting with robots, their behavior will change through the task as they learn and get more confident. Therefore, new human-centered designs should improve human work processes by adding decision support tools, assistive and interactive robots, and smart self-adapting workplace automation. Another crucial aspect is ensuring that the core technologies under development are "compliant by design” to human-robot interaction and collaboration standards. This special session debates HRI beyond task execution, based on recent developments on the SOPHIA European project.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • HRI & social robotics

  • Safety and health issues of human-robot interactions in physical & psychological aspects

  • Safety standards for advanced robots & autonomous systems

  • Advanced industrial robots for future manufacturing

  • Rehabilitation robotics

  • Service & assistance applications

  • Cognitive human-robot interaction

  • Architectures and frameworks for cognition

  • Standardization topics for HRI and HRC

Tentative Schedule

Date: Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday, June 5/6/7th, 2023
Time: TBD - TBD (UTC/GMT+2)
Physical Room: TBD
Virtual Room:

Time Description Participation
09.00 – 09.10 Introduction by the organizers  
09.10 – 09.20 "SOPHIA overview" by Dr. Arash Ajoudani  
09.20 – 09.30 "Acceptability and compatibility of the HRI technologies in industrial workplaces." by Dr. Patricia Rosen  
09.30 – 09.40 Invited paper #1 by TBD  
09.40 – 09.50 Invited paper #2 by TBD  
09.50 – 10.00 Invited paper #3 by TBD  
10.00 – 10.20

Panel session with:

  • Alberto Ranavolo, INAIL, Italy
  • Andrea Cherubini, LIRMM, France
  • Arash Ajoudani, IIT, Italy
  • Bram Vanderborght, VUB, Belgium
  • Friederike Nabrdalik, DIN, Germany
  • Lars Fritzsche, IMK, Germany
  • Massimo Sartori, University of Twente, Netherlands
  • Matteo Bianchi, UNIPI, Italy
  • Patricia Rosen, BAuA, Germany






Dr. Gustavo Jose Giardini Lahr

Italian Institute of Technology, Italy


Gustavo Lahr is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Human-Robot Interfaces and Interaction at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy, under the project IIT@Leonardo. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the AeroTech laboratory at the University of São Paulo, Brazil (August 2021), in machine learning applied to aircraft manufacturing assembly tasks using robotic manipulators in partnership with EMBRAER. He holds a Master's thesis, and a mechatronic engineering bachelor's from the same university (2017 and 2014, respectively). He completed an academic exchange at Fairfield University, Connecticut, USA, in the Automated Manufacturing Engineering course, where he obtained a certificate of studies in Automated Manufacturing (2013) as a CAPES (Science without Borders) fellowship. He spent six months abroad as visiting Ph.D. student at KTH, Sweden, at the Robotics, Perception, and Learning laboratory (2018). Research interests: industrial robotics, flexible automation, robotic manipulation, human-robot interaction.




Arash Ajoudani

Italian Institute of Technology, Italy


Arash Ajoudani received his PhD degree in Robotics and Automation from Centro "E Piaggio", University of Pisa, and Advanced Robotics Department (ADVR), Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Italy (July 2014). His PhD thesis was a finalist for the Georges Giralt PhD award 2015 - best European PhD thesis award in robotics. He is currently a tenure-track scientist and the leader of the Human-Robot Interfaces and Physical Interaction (HRI2) lab of the IIT. He was a winner of the Amazon Research Awards 2019, the winner of the Werob best poster award 2018, winner of the KUKA Innovation Award 2018, a finalist for the best conference paper award at Humanoids 2018, a finalist for the best interactive paper award at Humanoids 2016, a finalist for the best oral presentation award at Automatica (SIDRA) 2014, the winner of the best student paper award and a finalist for the best conference paper award at ROBIO 2013, and a finalist for the best manipulation paper award at ICRA 2012. He is the author of the book "Transferring Human Impedance Regulation Skills to Robots" in the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics (STAR), and several publications in journals, international conferences, and book chapters. He is currently serving as the executive manager of the IEEE-RAS Young Reviewers' Program (YRP), chair and representative of the IEEE-RAS Young Professionals Committee, and co-chair of the IEEE-RAS Member Services Committee. He has been serving as a member of scientific advisory committee and as an associate editor for several international journals and conferences such as IEEE RAL, Biorob, ICORR, etc. His main research interests are in physical human-robot interaction and cooperation, robotic manipulation, robust and adaptive control, rehabilitation robotics, and tele-robotics.




Dr. Bram Vanderborght

Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium


Prof. dr. ir. Bram Vanderborght was born in Belgium in 1980. I received the degree in the study of Mechanical Engineering at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2003 with highest distinction. Since 2003 I was researcher at the VUB, supported by the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO). In May 2007 I received my PhD in Applied Sciences. The focus of my research was the use of adaptable compliance of pneumatic artificial muscles in the dynamically balanced biped Lucy. In May-June 2006 I performed research on the humanoids robot HRP-2 at the Joint Japanese/French Robotics Laboratory (JRL) in AIST, Tsukuba (Japan) in the research "Dynamically stepping over large obstacles by the humanoid robot HRP-2". I received a 3-year post-doc grant with mobility grant from the FWO. From October 2007-April 2010 I worked as post-doc researcher at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genova (Italy) on the humanoid robot iCub and compliant actuation. Since October 2009, I am appointed as professor at the VUB where I teach mechatronics and give a robotics project. From October 2011-Sept 2016, I was research director at the Universitatea Babes-Bolyai, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy with a project on robot assisted therapy with ASD children and VUB-PI of the DREAM project. I received an ERC Starting Grant on Series-Parallel Elastic Actuation for Robotics (SPEAR). I was a member of the Young Academy of the Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts. Currently I coordinate EU FET SHERO SHERO project and Marie Curie ITN SMART project. I am VUB-PI of EU project SOPHIA . I was till 2020 the core lab manager of Flanders Make in Flexible Assembly, now I am affiliated to the Interuniversity Microelectronics Institute (imec), Belgium, as scientific collaborator. I am also member of Brubotics , the mulitdisciplinary research enter on Human robot interaction. I also co-lead the Homo Roboticus project on how to keep the human values central in a robotised world. I was till 2020 the Editor In Chief of IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, from 2022 I will be Vice President - Electronic Products and Services Board of IEEE-RAS. My research interests include the use of soft and self healing actuators for cognitive and physical human robot interaction in applications in health and manufacturing. Our work is on display in the AI Experience Center.




Dr. Matteo Bianchi

University of Pisa, Italy


Matteo Bianchi is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Information Engineering (DII) and the Bioengineering and Robotics Research Centre “E. Piaggio” of the Università di Pisa. From 2015 to 2023 he was a clinical research affiliate at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, USA). He served as co-Chair of the RAS Technical Committee on Robot Hands, Grasping and Manipulation(2017- 2022) and as Vice-Chair for Information and Dissemination of the RAS Technical Committee on Haptics(2018-2021). From 2021, he is also the Vice-Coordinator of the MSc in Robotics and Automation Engineering at the University of Pisa. From January to June 2011, he worked as a visiting student at the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. He acts as the Principal Investigator of national and EU grants, and research contracts with companies in the field of human-machine interaction. He is author or co-author of more than 150 peer-reviewed contributions and serves as member of the editorial/organizing board of international conferences and journals. His research interests include haptic interface and sensor design, control and validation with applications in virtual reality, robotics/medical robotics (robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery and prosthetics), tele-robotics, rehabilitation and assistive robotics; human and robotic hands: optimal sensing and control; psycho-physics and mathematical modeling of the sense of touch and human manipulation; human inspired control of soft robots; machine learning for human and robot manipulation. He is editor of the book "Human and Robot Hands", Springer International Publishing. He is the recipient of several national and international awards and a member of the IEEE.



This special session will be supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 871237 (SOPHIA).