Communicating human intent to a robotic companion by multi-type gesture sentences
IROS23 International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2023

Video Materials Citation 🔗 Paper at ArXiv 📰 PDF Source code

P. Vanc (1), J. K. Behrens (1), K. Stepanova (1), and V. Hlavac (1)

(1) Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics, and Cybernetics,,,


Human-Robot collaboration in home and industrial workspaces is on the rise. However, the communication between robots and humans is a bottleneck. Although people use a combination of different types of gestures to complement speech, only a few robotic systems utilize gestures for communication. In this paper, we propose a gesture pseudolanguage and show how multiple types of gestures can be combined to express human intent to a robot (i.e., expressing both the desired action and its parameters - e.g., pointing to an object and showing that the object should be emptied into a bowl). The demonstrated gestures and the perceived tabletop scene (object poses detected by CosyPose) are processed in real-time) to extract the human’s intent. We utilize behavior trees to generate reactive robot behavior that handles various possible states of the world (e.g., a drawer has to be opened before an object is placed into it) and recovers from errors (e.g., when the scene changes). Furthermore, our system enables switching between direct teleoperation of the end-effector and high-level operation using the proposed gesture sentences. The system is evaluated on increasingly complex tasks using a real 7-DoF Franka Emika Panda manipulator. Controlling the robot via action gestures lowered the execution time by up to 60%, compared to direct teleoperation.


Video showing the usage of the proposed system.



Presentation on 23th Computer Vision Winter Workshop

A Preliminary system version was presented