Handing-over objects to people (or taking objects from them) is going to be a crucial ability for assistive robots as they become more and more integrated in the real world. The effortless and seamless nature of human-human hand-overs set a high standard for human-robot hand-overs, raising a number of key challenges for robots: object manipulation and motion planning in the vicinity of humans, hand-over configuration computation, coordination/synchronization/timing (before, during, and after the hand-over), motion dynamics during the execution and legibility of motion, compliant force-position control, perception of humans and activity recognition, social cues and norms that need to be considered, and intent communication and signaling (gaze).
These challenges present opportunities for techniques such as learning from experience or demonstration. Moreover, considering the role of humans in the task, new developments in any of these topics require extensive testing with humans in the loop, but no standard protocols or tasks exits for such evaluations. Recent years have witnessed a notable increase in the number of papers on this seemingly narrow topic (scattered across RSS, HRI, IROS, and ICRA), each revealing new insights and creating new questions. Therefore, we believe that an RSS workshop on the topic would be timely and would enable faster progress in addressing challenges mentioned above.
With this workshop we aim to gather the multi-disciplinary community of researchers who have contributed to the existing body of work on the topic and motivate researchers with expertise in related areas (perception, motion planning) to work on this unique human-robot interaction problem. We plan a workshop program consisting of invited speakers as well as short talks for contributed papers.