Grip forces and load forces in handovers: Implications for designing human-robot handover controllers

Wesley P. Chan, Chris A.C. Parker, H. F.Machiel Van Der Loos, Elizabeth A. Croft

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

74 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we investigate and characterize haptic interaction in human-to-human handovers and identify key features that facilitate safe and efficient object transfer. Eighteen participants worked in pairs and transferred weighted objects to each other while we measured their grip forces and load forces. Our data show that during object transfer, both the giver and receiver employ a similar strategy for controlling their grip forces in response to changes in load forces. In addition, an implicit social contract appears to exist in which the giver is responsible for ensuring object safety in the handover and the receiver is responsible for maintaining the efficiency of the handover. Compared with prior studies, our analysis of experimental data show that there are important differences between the strategies used by humans for both picking up/placing objects on table and that used for handing over objects, indicating the need for specific robot handover strategies as well. The results of this study will be used to develop a controller for enabling robots to perform object handovers with humans safely, efficiently, and intuitively.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHRI'12 - Proceedings of the 7th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) 2012 - Boston, United States of America
Duration: 5 Mar 20128 Mar 2012
Conference number: 7th (Proceedings)


ConferenceAnnual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) 2012
Abbreviated titleHRI 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
Internet address


  • grip force
  • handoff
  • handover
  • haptic communication
  • load force
  • object transfer
  • physical human robot interaction

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