“Acroban the humanoid: Playful and compliant physical child-robot interaction” by Ly and Oudeyer

  • ©Olivier Ly and Pierre-Yves Oudeyer


    Acroban the humanoid: Playful and compliant physical child-robot interaction


Entry Number: 04


    Personal robotics is predicted to arrive massively in our homes in the 21st century, as well as impact importantly our society. Yet, before this vision can be realized, a number of very hard challenges need to be addressed. Among them are challenges related to human-robot interaction. Most personal robots, from entertainment to assistive robots, will need to interact with humans in a day-to-day basis: this implies that robot should afford intuitive, safe and pleasant interactions, as well as be able to adapt robustly to all unpredicted human behaviors. Many studies and technologies have elaborated in the field of human-robot interaction. In spite of this, physical human-robot interactions, which is central and unavoidable in real-world scenarios, have been only very little studied, in particular because existing hardware, humanoids in particular, did not allow easily for both safe and compliant interactions.

    In this work, we present a lightweight humanoid robot, called Acroban, which is to our knowledge the first humanoid robot which is able to: 1) demonstrate playful, compliant and intuitive physical interaction with children; 2) move and walk dynamically while keeping its equilibrium even if unpredicted physical interactions are initiated by humans.