Bilateral physical interaction with a robot manipulator

A Barrett WAM manipulator learns to reproduce movements to draw two characters "A" and "B" on a board.

The tasks are demonstrated by the user through kinesthetic teaching and learned using a weighted combination of dynamical systems. The weighting mechanism is a modified version of the classic GMM weighting procedure. The proposed weights allow physical interaction with the user, who can employ the manipulator as a tangible interface to influence its actions.

Two interactions are shown. The first considers an emergency situation in which the user can stop or pause the execution of task "A" by grasping and moving the robot away from the region of space associated to the skill. The second studies the possibility to select task "B" and switch to its execution by physically guiding the robot towards the task region, during the reproduction of task "A".

The robot shows a compliant and safe behavior during the interaction phases.

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