Physical Human–Robot Interaction

Part of the Springer Handbooks book series (SHB)


Over the last two decades, the foundations for physical human–robot interaction (pHRI) have evolved from successful developments in mechatronics, control, and planning, leading toward safer lightweight robot designs and interaction control schemes that advance beyond the current capacities of existing high-payload and high-precision position-controlled industrial robots. Based on their ability to sense physical interaction, render compliant behavior along the robot structure, plan motions that respect human preferences, and generate interaction plans for collaboration and coaction with humans, these novel robots have opened up novel and unforeseen application domains, and have advanced the field of human safety in robotics.

This chapter gives an overview on the state of the art in pHRI. First, the advances in human safety are outlined, addressing topics in human injury analysis in robotics and safety standards for pHRI. Then, the foundations of human-friendly robot design, including the development of lightweight and intrinsically flexible force/torque-controlled machines together with the required perception abilities for interaction are introduced. Subsequently, motion-planning techniques for human environments, including the domains of biomechanically safe, risk-metric-based, human-aware planning are covered. Finally, the rather recent problem of interaction planning is summarized, including the issues of collaborative action planning, the definition of the interaction planning problem, and an introduction to robot reflexes and reactive control architecture for pHRI.


Contact Force Collision Detection Joint Torque Industrial Robot Impedance Control 
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.



Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Ostheosynthesefragen


compression criterion


continuous hidden Markov model


compliant humanoid platform


Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency


dynamic constrained


discrete hidden Markov model


Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt


dynamic neural field


degree of freedom


dynamic partially constrained


dynamic unconstrained


force sensor


hand arm system


head injury criterion


Hybrid III dummy


hidden Markov model


Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia


injury measure


International Organization for Standardization


light-weight robot


magnetic resonance imaging


National Aeronautics and Space Agency


principal component analysis


physical human–robot interaction


possible injury


point of interest


quasistatic constrained




series elastic actuator


small and medium enterprises


safe motion unit


torque controlled humanoid robot


technical specification


University of British Columbia


visual analog scale


variable impedance actuator


variable stiffness actuator


worst-case factor


worst-case range


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceLeibniz University HannoverHannoverGermany
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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