A Worked-Out Experience in Programming Humanoid Robots via the Kinetography Laban

Part of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics book series (STAR, volume 111)


This chapter discusses the possibility of using Laban notation to program humanoid robots. Laban notation documents human movements by a sequence of symbols that express movements as defined in the physical space. We show, by reasoning around the simple action of “taking a ball”, the flexibility of the notation that is able to describe an action with different level of details, depending on the final objective of the notation. These characteristics make Laban notation suitable as a high level language and as a motion segmentation tool for humanoid robot programming and control. The main problem in robotics is to express actions that are defined and operate in the physical space in terms of robot motions that originate in the robot motor control space. This is the fundamental robotics issue of inversion. We will first show how symbols used by Laban to describe human gestures can be translated in terms of actions for the robot by using a framework called Stack of Tasks. We will then report on an experience tending to implement on a simulated humanoid platform the notation score of a “Tutting Dance” executed by a dancer. Once the whole movement has been implemented on the robot, it has been again notated by using Laban notation. The comparison between both scores shows that robot’s movements are slightly different from dancer’s ones. We then discuss about plausible origins of these differences.


Humanoid Robotics Dance Tutors Laban Score Direction Symbols Dance Notation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work is supported by ERC-ADG project 340050 Actanthrope. Authors thank Noëlle Simonet, professor of the Kinetography Laban at CNMDP (Conservatoire National de Musique et de Danse de Paris), for reviewing the Laban scores, and Tiphaine Jahier, dancer and Laban notator, for her participation to read notations and perform actions.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LAAS-CNRSToulouse Cedex-4France

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