Learning Force and Position Constraints in Human-robot Cooperative Transportation
Physical interaction between humans and robots arises a large set of challenging problems involving hardware, safety, control and cognitive aspects, among others. In this context, the cooperative (two or more people/robots) transportation of bulky loads in manufacturing plants is a practical example where these challenges are evident. In this paper, we address the problem of teaching a robot collaborative behaviors from human demonstrations. Specifically, we present an approach that combines: probabilistic learning and dynamical systems, to encode the robot's motion along the task. Our method allows us to learn not only a desired path to take the object through, but also, the force the robot needs to apply to the load during the interaction. Moreover, the robot is able to learn and reproduce the task with varying initial and final locations of the object. The proposed approach can be used in scenarios where not only the path to be followed by the transported object matters, but also the force applied to it. Tests were successfully carried out in a scenario where a 7 DOFs backdrivable manipulator learns to cooperate, with a human, to transport an object while satisfying the position and force constraints of the task.