Robotics Today Seminar

Planning and Learning Interaction with Variable Impedance

On May 21, 2021 a Technical Talk was held by Antonio Bicchi (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia), within the virtual robotics seminar series “Robotics Today – A series of technical talks”. 

The goal of the series is to bring the robotics community together during these challenging times. 

Abstract: In animals and in humans, the mechanical impedance of their limbs changes not only in dependence of the task, but also during different phases of the execution of a task. Part of this variability is intentionally controlled, by either co-activating muscles or by changing the arm posture, or both. In robots, impedance can be varied by varying controller gains, stiffness of hardware parts, and arm postures. The choice of impedance profiles to be applied can be planned off-line, or varied in real time based on feedback from the environmental interaction. Planning and control of variable impedance can use insight from human observations, from mathematical optimization methods, or from learning. In this talk I will review the basics of human and robot variable impedance, and discuss how this impact applications ranging from industrial and service robotics to prosthetics and rehabilitation.

More information:

Speaker: Antonio Bicchi (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia)

Title: Planning and Learning Interaction with Variable Impedance