Exploring robust, intuitive and emergent physical human-robot interaction with the humanoid Acroban

Pierre-Yves Oudeyer 1 Olivier Ly 1 Pierre Rouanet 1
1 Flowers - Flowing Epigenetic Robots and Systems
Inria Bordeaux - Sud-Ouest, U2IS - Unité d'Informatique et d'Ingénierie des Systèmes
Abstract : We present how a humanoid robot, called Acroban, allows whole-body robust, natural and intuitive physical interac- tion with both adults and children. These physical human-robot interaction are made possible through the combination of several properties of Acroban: 1) it is whole-body compliant thanks to variable impedance control and also thanks to the use of elastics and springs; 2) it has a bio-inspired vertebral column allowing more flexibility in postural and equilibrium control; 3) it is light- weight; 4) it has simple low-level controllers that leverage the first three properties. Moreover, the capabilities for physical human- robot interaction that we show are not using a model of the human, and in this sense are "model free": 1) the capability of the robot to keep its equilibrium while being manipulated or pushed by humans is a result of the intrinsic capability of the whole body to absorb unpredicted external perturbations; 2) the capability of leading Acroban by the hand is an emergent human-robot interface made possible by the self-organizing properties of the body and its low-level controllers and was observed a posteriori only after the robot was conceived and without any initial plan to make this possible. Finally, an originality of Acroban is that is is made with relatively low-cost components which lack of precision is counterbalanced with the robustness due to global geometry and compliance.
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Conference papers
IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots, 2011, Bled, Slovenia. 2011
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Pierre-Yves Oudeyer, Olivier Ly, Pierre Rouanet. Exploring robust, intuitive and emergent physical human-robot interaction with the humanoid Acroban. IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots, 2011, Bled, Slovenia. 2011. 〈hal-00652126〉

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