Alessandro De Luca

Elective in Robotics/Control Problems in Robotics
(coordinator Prof. Marilena Vendittelli)
Module of

Physical Human-Robot Interaction

Prof. Alessandro De Luca
Dipartimento di Ingegneria informatica, automatica e gestionale Antonio Ruberti (DIAG)
Sapienza Università di Roma
Via Ariosto 25, 00185 Roma, Italy
office: A-210
tel: +39 06 77274 052
email: deluca [at] diag [dot] uniroma1 [dot] it

Academic year 2022-23 (second semester)

NOTICE: This 3-credit module wll be taught in the academic year 2023-24 by Prof. Antonio Franchi. Please check the new webpage and/or with him for the new specific contents.
This topic has replaced since the academic year 2021-22 the module on Locomotion and Haptic Interfaces.

Material for this module
Google group
How to complete the credits for this module
Booking of exams

Aims: This module treats the physical aspects of Human-Robot Interaction (pHRI), ranging from close coexistence in the same workspace to active collaboration with exchange of forces on shared tasks, with special emphasis on safety and control issues. It summarizes also the research results obtained over the years by our Robotics group within three European projects: FP6 PHRIENDS (2006-09), FP7 SAPHARI (2011-2015), and H2020 SYMPLEXITY (2015-18). See also the YouTube channel Physical human-robot interaction.

Detailed contents: Physical and cognitive Human-Robot Interaction (pHRI and cHRI). Robot safety and dependability (mechanics, sensing, planning, and control). Lightweight and compliant robotic manipulators. Robots with Variable Stiffness Actuation (VSA). Soft robotics. An architecture for pHRI: safety, coexistence, and collaborative layers. Safety standards in robotics. The collision event pipeline. Sensorless detection and isolation of collisions and contacts. Collision detection in industrial robots with a closed control architeture. Safe reaction strategies to collisions. Use of redundancy. Human-robot coexistence. Monitoring distances in the workspace. Collision avoidance in dynamic/anthropic domains. Industrial case study. Human-robot collaboration: contactless/visual coordination or with physical interaction. Contact localization and contact force estimation. Control schemes for collaborative human-robot tasks: admittance control, force regulation, impedance control, hybrid force/motion control. Case studies in two industrial prototype cells.

Prerequisites: This module has no strict prerequisites. However, it is strongly recommended to have acquaintance with the basic topics of Robotics 1 and Robotics 2.

ECTS credits for this module: 3 credits (out of 12 or 6 credits, respectively for Elective in Robotics or Control Problems in Robotics)

Lectures for this module

Period: first part of second semester (February - March 2023; 4 to 6 weeks)
Begin: Tuesday, February 21, 2023
End: Tuesday, April 4, 2023


Tuesday 14:00-16:00 (room A7; DIAG, Via Ariosto 25)
Thursday 08:00-11:00 (room A4; DIAG, Via Ariosto 25), plus a reserved extra hour (11:00-12:00) if needed

Distribution of students according to the course of study:

2022-23: 35 students as Sapienza members of the Google group: 26 MARR (2 international), 5 MCER (1 international), 4 MMER.
2021-22: 18 students as Sapienza members of the Google group: 7 MCER (3 international), 5 MARR, 3 MMER (1 international), 2 Erasmus, 1 PhD.

Material for this module

Teaching material (PDF of the slides, video clips, technical papers, etc.) is available here. Videorecordings of lectures will not be available.

#1 pHRI_Introduction.pdf (70 slides, with links to videos; February 21, 2023)

Reference material to slides #1

#2 pHRI_SafetyDependability.pdf (61 slides; March 7, 2023)

Reference material to slides #2

#3 pHRI_CollisionDetectionReaction.pdf (64 slides; March 14, 2023)

Reference material to slides #3

#4 pHRI_CoexistenceCollaboration.pdf (84 slides; March 30, 2023)

Reference material to slides #4