A Force-Distance Model of Humanoid Arm Withdrawal Reflexes

  • Torbjørn S. Dahl
  • Alexandros Paraschos
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7429)


This paper presents the force-distance model of humanoid robot arm withdrawal reflexes. The model was developed in order to provide humanoid robots with a generic withdrawal reflex that could complement other robot safety mechanisms based on collision avoidance, reduced momentum, and compliance. The model goes beyond existing work on withdrawal behaviours by studying reflexes for arbitrary poses on a humanoid robots. It is inspired by a human withdrawal reflex trigger mechanism, the reflex receptive field and the withdrawal motions in the model are based on human reflex motion data. The model is implemented on a Nao humanoid robot with its upper and lower arms covered in a custom made tactile skin sensor. The efficiency of the resulting reflexes is analysed in terms of the distance the stimulation point on the robot is moved away from the spacial point of impact and in terms of whether the robot collides with itself during the expression of the reflex.


robot safety reflexes tactile sensing 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Torbjørn S. Dahl
    • 1
  • Alexandros Paraschos
    • 2
  1. 1.Cognitive Robotics Research CentreUniversity of WalesNewportUK
  2. 2.Intelligent Autonomous Systems Lab.Technische Universitaet DarmstadtGermany

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