Physiological and subjective evaluation of a human-robot object hand-over task

Appl Ergon. 2011 Nov;42(6):785-91. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2010.12.005. Epub 2011 Feb 5.


In the context of task sharing between a robot companion and its human partners, the notions of safe and compliant hardware are not enough. It is necessary to guarantee ergonomic robot motions. Therefore, we have developed Human Aware Manipulation Planner (Sisbot et al., 2010), a motion planner specifically designed for human-robot object transfer by explicitly taking into account the legibility, the safety and the physical comfort of robot motions. The main objective of this research was to define precise subjective metrics to assess our planner when a human interacts with a robot in an object hand-over task. A second objective was to obtain quantitative data to evaluate the effect of this interaction. Given the short duration, the "relative ease" of the object hand-over task and its qualitative component, classical behavioral measures based on accuracy or reaction time were unsuitable to compare our gestures. In this perspective, we selected three measurements based on the galvanic skin conductance response, the deltoid muscle activity and the ocular activity. To test our assumptions and validate our planner, an experimental set-up involving Jido, a mobile manipulator robot, and a seated human was proposed. For the purpose of the experiment, we have defined three motions that combine different levels of legibility, safety and physical comfort values. After each robot gesture the participants were asked to rate them on a three dimensional subjective scale. It has appeared that the subjective data were in favor of our reference motion. Eventually the three motions elicited different physiological and ocular responses that could be used to partially discriminate them.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electromyography
  • Eye Movements / physiology
  • Female
  • Galvanic Skin Response
  • Hand Strength / physiology
  • Hand* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement* / physiology
  • Posture / physiology
  • Reaction Time
  • Robotics / methods*
  • Robotics / standards
  • User-Computer Interface