Physical human-robot interaction

Sami Haddadin, Elizabeth Croft

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Over the last two decades, the foundations for physical human-robot interaction (pHRI) have evolved from successful developments in mechatronics, control, and planning, leading toward safer lightweight robot designs and interaction control schemes that advance beyond the current capacities of existing high-payload and high-precision position-controlled industrial robots. Based on their ability to sense physical interaction, render compliant behavior along the robot structure, plan motions that respect human preferences, and generate interaction plans for collaboration and coaction with humans, these novel robots have opened up novel and unforeseen application domains, and have advanced the field of human safety in robotics. This chapter gives an overview on the state of the art in pHRI. First, the advances in human safety are outlined, addressing topics in human injury analysis in robotics and safety standards for pHRI. Then, the foundations of human-friendly robot design, including the development of lightweight and intrinsically flexible force/torque-controlled machines together with the required perception abilities for interaction are introduced. Subsequently, motion-planning techniques for human environments, including the domains of biomechanically safe, risk-metric-based, human-aware planning are covered. Finally, the rather recent problem of interaction planning is summarized, including the issues of collaborative action planning, the definition of the interaction planning problem, and an introduction to robot reflexes and reactive control architecture for pHRI.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer Handbook of Robotics
EditorsBruno Siciliano, Oussama Khatib
Place of PublicationBerlin Germany
Number of pages40
ISBN (Electronic)9783319325521
ISBN (Print)9783319325507
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Collision detection
  • Contact force
  • Impedance control
  • Industrial robot
  • Joint torque

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