Interacting With a Mobile Robot with a Natural Infrastructure-Less Interface

Valeria Villani, Lorenzo Sabattini, Giuseppe Riggio, Alessio Levratti, Cristian Secchi, Cesare Fantuzzi

In this paper we introduce a novel approach that enables users to interact with a mobile robot in a natural manner. The proposed interaction system does not require any specific infrastructure or device, but relies on commonly utilized objects while leaving the user's hands free. Specifically, we propose to utilize a smartwatch (or a sensorized wristband) for recognizing the motion of the user's forearm. Measurements of accelerations and angular velocities are exploited to recognize user's gestures and define velocity commands for the robot. The proposed interaction system is evaluated experimentally with different users controlling a mobile robot and compared to the use of a remote control device for the teleoperation of robots. Results show that the usability and effectiveness of the proposed natural interaction system based on the use of a smartwatch provide significant improvement in the human-robot interaction experience.

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