the way the robots can move, learn and interact with the users. This PhD proposal addresses the problem of transferring collaborative manipulation skills to the robot in a user-friendly manner. Such skills involve rich and diverse behaviors such as leading roles and specialization, passive/active roles switching, turn-taking, compliance, synchrony, anticipation, non-verbal cues such as haptics used to communicate intent, etc. There are clear limits in current engineering solutions to implement such skills in robots. Interestingly, those skills sometimes appear to us as naturally grounded. It is proposed to explore how this human versatility can be exploited to get a better understanding of these mechanisms and act as a source of inspiration to be able to mimic those skills with robots. The human-human cooperation behavioral aspect will be studied in collaboration with Prof. Roger Newman- Norlund, Director of the Brain Stimulation Laboratory, Division of Physical Therapy & Motor Control at the University of South Carolina. The nature and roles of mutual responsiveness, complementary actions, intention reading and empathy in joint actions will be studied from behavioral, psychological and cognitive neuroscience perspectives, by considering healthy subjects and subjects with impaired social abilities. The human-robot cooperation experiments will be conducted with the compliant full humanoid robot COMAN, as well as with two 7 DOFs compliant manipulators with sensorized hands. For further details please contact: [email protected] Theme 3.4 Learning from demonstrations in a soft robotic arm for assistance in minimally invasive surgery Tutor: Dr. Sylvain Calinon This PhD proposal takes place within the STIFF-FLOP project (STIFFness controllable Flexible and Learn- able Manipulator for surgical OPerations), which is a collaboration with 11 universities, research institutes and companies in Europe: KCL (UK), SSSA (Italy), TRI (Spain), PIAP (Poland), HUJI (Israel), UoS (UK), USiegen (Germany), Shadow (UK), FRK (Poland) and EAES (Netherlands). In minimally invasive surgery, tools go through narrow openings and manipulate soft organs that can move, deform, or change stiffness. There are limitations in current robot-assisted surgical systems due to the rigidity of robot tools. A soft robotic arm will be available within the project to manipulate objects while controlling the stiffness of selected body parts. This PhD proposal will focus on the learning, human-robot interaction and variable compliance manipulation aspects. The objective is to exploit the relevant statistical information contained in multiple demonstrations from the teleoperator to learn force/position control manoeuvres so that the teleoperator could, over time, concentrate on high level decisions while the robot takes care of low level reactive control manoeuvres in a semi- Page 25
Doctoral Course on Robotics, Cognition and Interaction Technologies – Annex A autonomous fashion. The PhD candidate will conduct robotic experiments to answer a number of key
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