Physical human-robot interaction appears to be of vital importance in modern robotics to create collaborative and dependable interfaces, in which humans can safely co-exist with assistive robots and devices to attain service or clinical care. This, however, poses several design and control challenges due to the need of demonstrating versatile and stable physical interactions between the robots, human and the environment.
As a crucial step towards this problem, compliant systems, e.g., torque-controlled robots with software-regulated active compliance or novel actuators that inherently integrate variable physical impedance, paved the way for creating new possibilities in the control of robots and assistive devices. Therefore, an issue concerning the real-time planning of physical interaction while executing dynamic tasks consequently arises. One way to address this problem is to investigate the potential of the shared autonomy between the human sensory-motor system and the robotic platform, due to the superior capabilities of the humans in the establishment of stable and versatile interactions with the uncertain environments. This has recently led to the development of several effective interfaces for real-time planning and control of the robots’ physical interaction behavior. With this in mind, the main purpose of this workshop is to review the state-of-the-art on the establishment of intuitive and effective human-robot interfaces, aimed for enhanced physical interactions, and to extend views on the required future developments.