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With recent advances in safe and compliant hardware and control, robots are close to finding their places in our homes. As the safety barrier between humans and robots is beginning to fade, the necessity to design pertinent robot behavior in human environments is becoming a crucial step. In order to obtain a safe, comfortable, and socially acceptable interaction, the robot should be engineered from top to bottom by considering the presence of the human. In this paper, we present a manipulation planning framework and its implementation human-aware manipulation planner. This planner generates paths not only safe but comfortable and “socially acceptable” as well by reasoning explicitly on human's kinematics, vision field, posture, and preferences. The planner, which is applied into “robot handing over an object” scenarios, breaks the human centric interaction that depends mostly on human effort and allows the robot to take initiative by computing automatically where the interaction takes place, thus decreasing the cognitive weight of interaction on human side.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2012