Arash Ajoudani's research while affiliated with Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia and other places

Publications (74)

Article
The ongoing trend toward Industry 4.0 has revolutionised ordinary workplaces, profoundly changing the role played by humans in the production chain. Research on ergonomics in industrial settings mainly focuses on reducing the operator’s physical fatigue and discomfort to improve throughput and avoid safety hazards. However, as the production comple...
Article
This article proposes a method for learning and robotic replication of dynamic collaborative tasks from offline videos. The objective is to extend the concept of learning from demonstration (LfD) to dynamic scenarios, benefiting from widely available or easily producible offline videos. To achieve this goal, we decode important dynamic information,...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this study, an adaptive object deformability-agnostic human-robot collaborative transportation framework is presented. The proposed framework enables to combine the haptic information transferred through the object with the human kinematic information obtained from a motion capture system to generate reactive whole-body motions on a mobile colla...
Preprint
Teleoperation is a widely adopted strategy to control robotic manipulators executing complex tasks that require highly dexterous movements and critical high-level intelligence. Classical teleoperation schemes are based on either joystick control, or on more intuitive interfaces which map directly the user arm motions into one robot arm's motions. T...
Article
Full-text available
Teleoperation is a widely adopted strategy to control robotic manipulators executing complex tasks that require highly dexterous movements and critical high-level intelligence. Classical teleoperation schemes are based on either joystick control, or on more intuitive interfaces which map directly the user arm motions into one robot arm's motions. T...
Preprint
Recurrent or sustained awkward body postures are among the most frequently cited risk factors to the development of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). To prevent workers from adopting harmful configurations but also to guide them toward more ergonomic ones, wearable haptic devices may be the ideal solution. In this paper, a vibrotactile...
Preprint
Full-text available
Balance and gait disorders are the second leading cause of falls, which, along with consequent injuries, are reported as major public health problems all over the world. For patients who do not require mechanical support, vibrotactile feedback interfaces have proven to be a successful approach in restoring balance. Most of the existing strategies a...
Preprint
In hybrid industrial environments, workers' comfort and positive perception of safety are essential requirements for successful acceptance and usage of collaborative robots. This paper proposes a novel human-robot interaction framework in which the robot behaviour is adapted online according to the operator's cognitive workload and stress. The meth...
Preprint
Human-robot collaborative assembly systems enhance the efficiency and productivity of the workplace but may increase the workers' cognitive demand. This paper proposes an online and quantitative framework to assess the cognitive workload induced by the interaction with a co-worker, either a human operator or an industrial collaborative robot with d...
Preprint
The recognition of actions performed by humans and the anticipation of their intentions are important enablers to yield sociable and successful collaboration in human-robot teams. Meanwhile, robots should have the capacity to deal with multiple objectives and constraints, arising from the collaborative task or the human. In this regard, we propose...
Preprint
Full-text available
The objective of this paper is to develop and evaluate a directional vibrotactile feedback interface as a guidance tool for postural adjustments during work. In contrast to the existing active and wearable systems such as exoskeletons, we aim to create a lightweight and intuitive interface, capable of guiding its wearers towards more ergonomic and...
Preprint
This article proposes a method for learning and robotic replication of dynamic collaborative tasks from offline videos. The objective is to extend the concept of learning from demonstration (LfD) to dynamic scenarios, benefiting from widely available or easily producible offline videos. To achieve this goal, we decode important dynamic information,...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper proposes a hybrid learning and optimization framework for mobile manipulators for complex and physically interactive tasks. The framework exploits the MOCA-MAN interface to obtain intuitive and simplified human demonstrations and Gaussian Mixture Model/Gaussian Mixture Regression to encode and generate the learned task requirements in te...
Preprint
Full-text available
Simulation tools are essential for robotics research, especially for those domains in which safety is crucial, such as Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC). However, it is challenging to simulate human behaviors, and existing robotics simulators do not integrate functional human models. This work presents Open-VICO~\footnote{\url{https://gitlab.iit.it/h...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper presents a novel interaction planning method that exploits impedance tuning techniques in response to environmental uncertainties and unpredictable conditions using haptic information only. The proposed algorithm plans the robot's trajectory based on the haptic interaction with the environment and adapts planning strategies as needed. Tw...
Preprint
Full-text available
The field of physical human-robot interaction has dramatically evolved in the last decades. As a result, the robotic system's requirements have become more challenging, including personalized behavior for different tasks and users. Various machine learning techniques have been proposed to give the robot such adaptability features. This paper propos...
Preprint
Full-text available
Safety is one of the most fundamental aspects of robotics, especially when it comes to collaborative robots (cobots) that are expected to physically interact with humans. Although a large body of literature has focused on safety-related aspects for fixed-based cobots, a low effort has been put into developing collaborative mobile manipulators. In r...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this work, we introduce an adaptive control framework for human-robot collaborative transportation of objects with unknown deformation behaviour. The proposed framework takes as input the haptic information transmitted through the object, and the kinematic information of the human body obtained from a motion capture system to create reactive who...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper presents a mobile supernumerary robotic approach to physical assistance in human-robot conjoined actions. The study starts with the description of the SUPER-MAN concept. The idea is to develop and utilize mobile collaborative systems that can follow human loco-manipulation commands to perform industrial tasks through three main component...
Article
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) remain one of the major occupational safety and health problems in the European Union nowadays. Thus, continuous tracking of workers’ exposure to the factors that may contribute to their develop- ment is paramount. This article introduces an online approach to monitor kinematic and dynamic quantities o...
Article
Human-robot collaborative assembly systems enhance the efficiency and productivity of the workplace but may increase the workers' cognitive demand. This paper proposes an online and quantitative framework to assess the cognitive workload induced by the interaction with a co-worker, either a human operator or an industrial collaborative robot with d...
Chapter
The paper describes the activities of the European project SOPHIA, Socio-Physical Interaction Skills for Cooperative Human-Robot Systems in Agile Production. The consortium involves European partners from academia, research organizations and industry. The main goal of the project is to develop a new generation of CoBots and Wearbots and advanced in...
Preprint
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) remain one of the major occupational safety and health problems in the European Union nowadays. Thus, continuous tracking of workers' exposure to the factors that may contribute to their development is paramount. This paper introduces an online approach to monitor kinematic and dynamic quantities on th...
Preprint
Full-text available
This letter presents the design and development of a robotic system to give physical assistance to the elderly or people with neurological disorders such as Ataxia or Parkinson's. In particular, we propose using a mobile collaborative robot with an interaction-assistive whole-body interface to help people unable to maintain balance. The robotic sys...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this paper is to develop and evaluate a directional vibrotactile feedback interface as a guidance tool for postural adjustments during work. In contrast to the existing active and wearable systems such as exoskeletons, we aim to create a lightweight and intuitive interface, capable of guiding its wearers towards more ergonomic and...
Preprint
The ongoing trend towards Industry 4.0 has revolutionised ordinary workplaces, profoundly changing the role played by humans in the production chain. Research on ergonomics in industrial settings mainly focuses on reducing the operator's physical fatigue and discomfort to improve throughput and avoid safety hazards. However, as the production compl...
Article
In this paper, we introduce an adaptive robotic manipulation framework to respond to the flexibility needs of common industrial tasks such as box-filling and item sorting. The proposed framework consists of a vision module and a robot control module. The vision module is responsible for the detection and tracking of the environment (e.g., box and t...
Article
Full-text available
The most common causes of the risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD) have been identified as joint overloading, bad postures, and vibrations. In the last two decades, various solutions ranging from human-robot collaborative systems to robotic exoskeletons have been proposed to mitigate them. More recently, a new approach has been pro...
Article
The use of powerful robotics tools in modeling and analysis of complex biomechanical systems has led to the development of computationally effective and scalable human models. Our early work in this regard focused on a humanoids- based rigid-body modeling of human kinodynamics to monitor instantaneous and accumulating effects of external loads on b...
Article
The articles in this special section aim to stimulate and gather publications describing how new approaches in the field of robotic manipulation can be (or have already been) transferred from research labs to the productive world. Novel robotic developments are going hand in hand with the need for innovation in manufacturing and service application...
Preprint
This paper proposes a novel integrated dynamic method based on Behavior Trees for planning and allocating tasks in mixed human robot teams, suitable for manufacturing environments. The Behavior Tree formulation allows encoding a single job as a compound of different tasks with temporal and logic constraints. In this way, instead of the well-studied...
Preprint
Full-text available
Human factors and ergonomics are the essential constituents of teleoperation interfaces, which can significantly affect the human operator's performance. Thus, a quantitative evaluation of these elements and the ability to establish reliable comparison bases for different teleoperation interfaces are the keys to select the most suitable one for a p...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper presents a user-centered physical interface for collaborative mobile manipulators in industrial manufacturing and logistics applications. The proposed work builds on our earlier MOCA-MAN interface, through which a mobile manipulator could be physically coupled to the operators to assist them in performing daily activities. The new interf...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Domestic garbage management is an important aspect of a sustainable environment. This paper presents a novel garbage classification and localization system for grasping and placement in the correct recycling bin, integrated on a mobile manipulator. In particular, we first introduce and train a deep neural network (namely, GarbageNet) to detect diff...
Article
In this article, we present an online scalable tele-impedance framework, which enables the individual and collaborative control of multiple different robotic platforms. The framework provides an intuitive low-cost interface with visual feedback and a SpaceMouse, through which the operator can define the desired task-level trajectories and impedance...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper proposes a novel human-aware method that generates robot plans for autonomous and human-robot cooperative tasks in industrial environments. We modify the standard Behavior Trees (BTs) formulation in order to take into account the action-related costs, and design suitable metrics and cost functions to account for the cooperation with a wo...
Article
In this work, we present a novel control approach to human-robot collaboration that takes into account ergonomic aspects of the human co-worker during power tool operations. The method is primarily based on estimating and reducing the overloading torques in the human joints that are induced by the manipulated external load. The human overloading jo...
Article
Full-text available
This work presents a unified approach for hybrid motion control of the MObile Collaborative Robotic Assistant (MOCA). The objective is to develop a loco-manipulation controller, enabling various couplings of the arm and the mobile base movements, and particularly their purely decoupled motions. The proposed method is based on a weighted whole-body...
Article
In this work, we propose a framework to address the autonomous impedance regulation problem of robots in a class of constrained manipulation tasks. In this framework, a human arm endpoint stiffness model is used to extract the task stiffness geometry along the constrained trajectory, which is then encoded offline and reproduced online by a Gaussian...
Article
Full-text available
Expanding robot autonomy can deliver functional flexibility and enable fast deployment of robots in challenging and unstructured environments. In this direction, significant advances have been recently made in visual-perception driven autonomy, which is mainly due to the availability of rich sensory data-sets. However, current robots’ physical inte...
Article
Full-text available
When using a tool with a robotic hand-arm system, the stiffness at the grasped object plays a key role in the interaction with the environment, allowing the successful execution of the task. However, the rapidly increasing use of under-actuated hands in robotic systems due to their robustness and simplicity of control, pose limitations to the achie...
Article
Full-text available
Due to the epochal changes introduced by “Industry 4.0”, it is getting harder to apply the varying approaches for biomechanical risk assessment of manual handling tasks used to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMDs) considered within the International Standards for ergonomics. In fact, the innovative human–robot collaboration (HRC) s...
Article
Full-text available
In this work, we propose an intuitive and real-time model of the human arm active endpoint stiffness. In our model, the symmetric and positive-definite stiffness matrix is constructed through the eigendecomposition Kc=VDVT, where V is an orthonormal matrix whose columns are the normalized eigenvectors of Kc, and D is a diagonal matrix whose entries...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we propose a method for improving the human operator's arm posture during bilateral teleoperation. The method is based on a musculoskeletal model that considers human operator's arm dynamics and the feedback force from the haptic interface (master), which is used to control a robotic arm (slave) in a remote environment. We perform an...
Article
Full-text available
In this work, we propose an online method to detect and approximately locate an external load induced on the body of a person interacting with the environment. The method is based on a torque equilibrium condition on the human sagittal plane, which takes into account a reduced-complexity model of the whole-body centre of pressure (CoP) along with t...
Conference Paper
The objective of this paper is to create a new collaborative robotic system that subsumes the advantages of mobile manipulators and supernumerary limbs. By exploiting the reconfiguration potential of a MObile Collaborative robot Assistant (MOCA), we create a collaborative robot that can function autonomously, in close proximity to humans, or be phy...
Article
Upper limb functions are severely affected in 23% of the chronic stroke patients, compromising their life quality. To re-enable hand use, providing a degree of functionality and motivating against learned non-use, we propose a robotic supernumerary limb, the SoftHand X (SHX), consisting of a robotic hand, a gravity support system, and different s...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes a novel loco-manipulation control framework for the execution of complex tasks with kinodynamic constraints using mobile manipulators. As a representative example, we consider the handling and re-positioning of pallet jacks (or lifts/carriers with similar characteristics) in unstructured environments. This task is associated wit...