Incrementally assisted kinesthetic teaching for programming by demonstration

Martin Tykal, Alberto Montebelli, Ville Kyrki

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Kinesthetic teaching is an established method of teaching robots new skills without requiring robotics or programming knowledge. However, the inertia and uncoordinated motions of individual joints decrease the intuitiveness and naturalness of interaction and impair the quality of the learned skill. This paper proposes a method to ease kinesthetic teaching by combining the idea of incremental learning through warping several demonstrations into a common frame with virtual tool dynamics to assist the user during teaching. In fact, during a sequence of demonstrations the stiffness of the robot under Cartesian impedance control is gradually increased, to provide stronger assistance to the user based on the demonstrations accumulated up to that moment. Therefore, the operator has the opportunity to progressively refine the task's model while the robot more docilely follows the learned action. Robot experiments and a user study performed on 25 novice users show that the proposed approach improves both usability as well as resulting skill quality.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781467383707
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction - Christchurch, New Zealand
Duration: 7 Mar 201610 Mar 2016
Conference number: 11


ConferenceACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
Abbreviated titleHRI
CountryNew Zealand


  • Dynamic time warping
  • Incremental learning
  • Kinesthetic teaching
  • Virtual tool dynamics


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