The Human-Robot-Interaction Laboratory is part of the Artificial Hands Area of the BioRobotics Institute. Current research topics include robotic hands and dexterous grasping, cognitive robotics and human-robot interaction.
What do people expect from robots? The possibility of working in close collaboration with a robotic colleague is perhaps one of the most fascinating results that the world expects from the robotics research community. Nowadays industrial robots are specifically designed for constrained or restricted sets of tasks in structured environments, and more important are neither designed nor programmed for collaborating fluently with humans. To date, Human-Robot interaction is unintuitive, restrictive, and limited to a rigid command-and-response fashion. There's a huge need for flexible, capable, safe robots, namely, a new generation of industrial machines very different from the bulky and expensive manipulators existing today. Within the factories, this new class of robots could work directly alongside employees with no safety caging merging the benefits of the fully manual assembly and fully automated manufacturing lines. At home, this cooperative robot would provide assistance to the human in domestic activities as carrying heavy objects, or simply gently passing a bottle of water.