Exploring the effect of robot hand configurations in directional gestures for human-robot interaction

Sara Sheikholeslami, Ajung Moon, Elizabeth A. Croft

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther

6 Citations (Scopus)


In this work we explore the effectiveness of a three-fingered robotic gripper in accurately expressing directional instructions (move up, down, left, right) as gestures emulating human hand gestures. Such gestures can be necessary in noisy manufacturing environments where verbal communication is ineffective. Three studies are conducted. In Study 1 we explore hand configurations that human dyads use for nonverbal instruction (n = 17). In Study 2 we examine which hand-configurations from Study 1 are most accurately understood by observers (n = 140). In Study 3 we compare performance between a robot arm performing similar motions to those of human study participants using either an unposed or posed three-fingered robotic gripper (n =100) to observe the importance of the hand's pose. Recognition rates of directional gestures for both the human and the robot are examined. Results indicate that most gestures are better and more confidently recognized when displayed with the posed robot hand.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2015)
EditorsAlois Knoll
Place of PublicationPiscataway NJ USA
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781479999941, 9781479999934
ISBN (Print)9781479999958
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems 2015 - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: 28 Sep 20152 Oct 2015
https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/conhome/7347169/proceeding (Proceedings)


ConferenceIEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems 2015
Abbreviated titleIROS 2015
Internet address


  • Assembly
  • Manipulators
  • Observers
  • Robot kinematics
  • Service robots
  • Thumb

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