Aula Pacinotti
Venerdì, 20 Aprile 2018
Ore 11.00

Human-robot body experience: exploring the embodiment of robotic limbs

Philipp Beckerle
Chief engineer, Head of Human-Mechatronics
Synergy research
Institute for Mechatronic Systems, TU Darmstadt


ABSTRACT - Human body experience is remarkably flexible and can integrate artifacts ranging from simple passive tools like a hammer to advanced robotic devices such as prosthetic hands. In the past decades, psychological research developed experimental paradigms to explore how tools and artificial limbs are perceived as a part of one’s body, e.g., the rubber hand illusion. The observed embodiment of the artifact is due to crossmodal integration of various sensory information, which might be altered by technical means like design, control, and feedback. This talk introduces basic psychological terms and paradigms to show how robots can help to improve these approaches and how the design of robotic devices and interfaces can be optimized in return. Results from expert studies and human-in-the-loop experiments with (wearable) robotic devices in psychological paradigms point out specific influences of robot design and control as well as haptic feedback. From this, design considerations as well as directions for future research and development are derived.

BIO - Philipp Beckerle received his Dr.-Ing. in mechatronics from Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany, in 2014. He is currently chief engineer and deputy head of the Institute for Mechatronic Systems at TU Darmstadt and heads “Human-Mechatronics Synergy” research. As a TU Darmstadt “Athene Young Investigator” he obtained the right to supervise doctoral students in 2017. His dissertation was awarded with the “Manfred-Hirschvogel Award 2015” and the “MINT Excellence PhD thesis award 2015” and he is recipient of the “Eugen-Hartmann Award 2017”. In 2015 and 2016, he was visiting researcher at Robotics & Multibody Mechanics research group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, as well as at Interactive Robotics Lab and Human-Oriented Robotics and Control Lab, Arizona State University. Dr. Beckerle takes over review and editorial responsibilities for various international journals and conferences. His main research topics are human-machine-centered design, elastic actuation, and control of wearable robotic systems. His further interest is in modeling, simulation, and control, human factors and biomechanics, fault diagnosis and tolerance as well as human-computer/robot interaction.