A hierarchical behavioral dynamic approach for naturally adaptive human-agent pick-and-place interactions

Maurice Lamb*, Patrick Nalepka, Rachel W. Kallen, Tamara Lorenz, Steven J. Harrison, Ali A. Minai, Michael J. Richardson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


Interactive or collaborative pick-and-place tasks occur during all kinds of daily activities, for example, when two or more individuals pass plates, glasses, and utensils back and forth between each other when setting a dinner table or loading a dishwasher together. In the near future, participation in these collaborative pick-and-place tasks could also include robotic assistants. However, for human-machine and human-robot interactions, interactive pick-and-place tasks present a unique set of challenges. A key challenge is that high-level task-representational algorithms and preplanned action or motor programs quickly become intractable, even for simple interaction scenarios. Here we address this challenge by introducing a bioinspired behavioral dynamic model of free-flowing cooperative pick-and-place behaviors based on low-dimensional dynamical movement primitives and nonlinear action selection functions. Further, we demonstrate that this model can be successfully implemented as an artificial agent control architecture to produce effective and robust human-like behavior during human-agent interactions. Participants were unable to explicitly detect whether they were working with an artificial (model controlled) agent or another human-coactor, further illustrating the potential effectiveness of the proposed modeling approach for developing systems of robust real/embodied human-robot interaction more generally.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5964632
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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