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For manipulation tasks, the transfer of objects between humans and robots is a fundamental way to coordinate activity and cooperatively perform useful work. Within this paper we demonstrate that robots and people can effectively and intuitively work together by directly handing objects to one another. First, we present experimental results that demonstrate that subjects without explicit instructions or robotics expertise can successfully hand objects to a robot and take objects from a robot in response to reaching gestures. Moreover, when handing an object to the robot, subjects control the object's position and orientation to match the configuration of the robot's hand, thereby simplifying robotic grasping and offering opportunities to simplify the manipulation task. Second, we present a robotic application that relies on this form of human-robot interaction. This application enables a humanoid robot to help a user place objects on a shelf, perform bimanual insertion tasks, and hold a box within which the user can place objects. By handing appropriate objects to the robot, the human directly and intuitively controls the robot. Through this interaction, the human and robot complement one another's abilities and work together to achieve results.
Date of Conference: 26-29 Aug. 2007