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Human-Robot Interaction
Machine Learning with Application to Robotics
Fast Adaptive Control
Dexterous Manipulation and Grasping
Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Modeling

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Human-robot interaction

We focus on scenarios where robots take the role of assistants, trainers or collaborators in order to achieve physical manipulation tasks. We use machine-learning algorithms to model and observe human behaviors, develop robot implementations and replicate the task in a human-like manner or detect human intention.

We develop approaches and applications that:

Shared Control Through EMG

The range of motion that someone can do while wearing a prosthetic device is constrained due to lack of control and functionality. We are working to develop control interfaces that can decode the intention of the user by its muscular activity (EMG).

We develop approaches and applications that:
  • describe the dynamic behavior of the hand and the fingers during reaching-to-grasp motions
  • extract valuable information from the muscles to decode the intention of the user
  • combine dynamical systems with the user’s intention to provide a natural human-like behavior to the device
  • achieve results in a shared control scheme between the user and wearable robotic device
  • apply our results to prosthetic devices for the upper limbs as well as tele operated robotic systems
  • Video playlist

    Related publications

    N. Sommer, A. Billard (Dir.). Multi-contact tactile exploration and interaction with unknown objects. EPFL, Lausanne, 2017.
    N. Figueroa, A. L. P. Ureche and A. Billard. Learning Complex Sequential Tasks from Demonstration: A Pizza Dough Rolling Case Study. 11th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Christchurch, New Zealand, ACMIEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, 2016.
    A. G. Billard. Towards Reproducing Humans' Exquisite Dexterity and Reactivity. 11th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND, ACMIEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, 2016.
    K. Kronander and A. Billard. Passive Interaction Control With Dynamical Systems, in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, vol. 1, num. 1, p. 106-113, 2016.
    M. Khoramshahi, A. Shukla, S. Raffard, B. G. Bardy and A. Billard. Role of Gaze Cues in Interpersonal Motor Coordination: Towards Higher Affiliation in Human-Robot Interaction, accepted in Plos One, 2016.
    I. Batzianoulis, S. El-Khoury, S. Micera and A. Billard. EMG-Based Analysis of the Upper Limb Motion. 10nth ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction, Portland, Oregon, USA, HRI'15 Extended Abstracts, 2015.
    H. Yin, A. Billard and A. Paiva. Bidirectional Learning of Handwriting Skill in Human-Robot Interaction. 10th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Portland, Oregon, USA, 2015.
    K. Kronander and A. Billard. Learning Compliant Manipulation through Kinesthetic and Tactile Human-Robot Interaction, in Ieee Transactions On Haptics, vol. 7, num. 3, p. 367-380, 2014.
    A. L. Pais, B. D. Argall and A. G. Billard. Assessing Interaction Dynamics in the Context of Robot Programming by Demonstration, in International Journal of Social Robotics, vol. 5, num. 4, p. 477-490, 2013.
    K. J. A. Kronander and A. Billard. Online Learning of Varying Stiffness Through Physical Human-Robot Interaction. 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, 2012.
    A. Billard and D. Grollman. Human-Robot Interaction, in Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning, 2011.
    E. Gribovskaya, A. Kheddar and A. Billard. Motion Learning and Adaptive Impedance for Robot Control during Physical Interaction with Humans. International Conferece on Robotics and Automation, 2011.
    B. D. Argall and A. G. Billard. A Survey of Tactile Human-Robot Interactions, in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, vol. 58, num. 10, p. 1159-1176, 2010.
    S. Calinon and A. Billard. A framework integrating statistical and social cues to teach a humanoid robot new skills. IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Workshop on Social Interaction with Intelligent Indoor Robots, Pasadena, CA, USA, 2008.
    E. Gribovskaya and A. Billard. Combining Dynamical Systems Control and Programming by Demonstration for Teaching Discrete Bimanual Coordination Tasks to a Humanoid Robot. IEEE/ASM International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2008.
    E. Gribovskaya and A. Billard. A Model of Acquisition of Discrete Bimanual Coordination Skills for a Humanoid Robot. International Conference in Epigenetic Robotics, 2007.
    S. Calinon, A. Billard (Dir.). Continuous extraction of task constraints in a robot programming by demonstration framework. EPFL, Lausanne, 2007.
    S. Calinon and A. Billard. Learning of Gestures by Imitation in a Humanoid Robot, in Imitation and Social Learning in Robots, Humans and Animals: Behavioural, Social and Communicative Dimensions, p. 153-177, 2007.
    S. Calinon and A. Billard. Incremental Learning of Gestures by Imitation in a Humanoid Robot. ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Arlington, VA, USA, 2007.
    S. Calinon and A. Billard. What is the Teacher's Role in Robot Programming by Demonstration? - Toward Benchmarks for Improved Learning, in Interaction Studies. Special Issue on Psychological Benchmarks in Human-Robot Interaction, vol. 8, num. 3, 2007.
    S. Calinon, F. Guenter and A. Billard. On Learning, Representing and Generalizing a Task in a Humanoid Robot, in IEEE transactions on systems, man and cybernetics, Part B. Special issue on robot learning by observation, demonstration and imitation, vol. 37, num. 2, p. 286-298, 2007.
    M. Hersch and A. Billard. A Model for Imitating Human Reaching Movements. HRI 2006, Salt Lake City, 2006.
    A. Billard, S. Calinon and F. Guenter. Discriminative and Adaptive Imitation in Uni-Manual and Bi-Manual Tasks, in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, vol. 54, num. 5, p. 370-384, 2006.
    S. Calinon and A. Billard. Teaching a Humanoid Robot to Recognize and Reproduce Social Cues. IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN), Hatfield, UK, 2006.
    B. Robins, K. Dautenhahn, R. te Boekhorst and A. Billard. Robotic assistants in therapy and education of children with autism: Can a small humanoid robot help encourage social interaction skills?, in Access in the Information Society (UAIS), Springer- Verlag., vol. 4, num. 2, p. 105-120, 2005.
    S. Calinon and A. Billard. Gesture Recognition and Reproduction for a Humanoid Robot using Hidden Markov Models. AMI/PASCAL/IM2/M4 Workshop on Multimodal Interaction and Related Machine Learning Algorithms, 2004.