Workshop in:
HUMANOIDS2013 Conference - Oct 15, 2013, Atlanta (USA)




Workshop Organizers

Diego Torricelli, PhD
Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Jose Luis Pons, Research Professor
Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)



Motivation & Goals

The difficulty in defining standard benchmarks for human-like robots is an acknowledged problem. Benchmarking research is inherently difficult since results are typically reported only for a specific robotic system and a self-chosen set of tasks. This makes it very difficult to compare the results with other systems developed in different labs and tested for different specific tasks. Moreover, there is no clear common view on what benchmarking is and how one should evaluate a system against a particular benchmark.

The recently started EU project H2R "Integrative approach for human-like locomotion" ( aims to foster the international discussion on benchmarking scheme for bipedal robots, specifically focused on locomotion and posture. The ultimate goal of the project is to define solutions that can be realistically adopted by the scientific community to assess and compare human-like skills of humanoids and walking machines.

If you are a researcher in robotics, gait analysis, musculoskeletal modelling, or neuroscience, and you are interested in answering the questions "What does human-like mean?" and "How can we measure human-likeness?" please participate. We look forward to sharing new ideas with you!


Important Dates

Sept 10 – Deadline for submission of two-page abstract (EXTENDED)
Sept 15 – Notification of acceptance
Oct 15 – Workshop day (half or full day, depending on the number of contributions)


Topics & Discussion

This workshop will cover several aspects related to the assessment of human-like walking and postural skills:

1) Stability. How can human-like stability be effectively measured and described, in both unperturbed and perturbed conditions?

2) Energy efficiency. What method of energy consumption estimation can be better used across different robotic platforms? Where does the trade-off between energy efficiency and functionality lie?

3) Cognitive abilities. How much are prediction and estimation of disturbances relevant to achieve human-like walking and posture? Which features should be included in the ideal benchmarking scheme?

4) Kinematic complexity. To what extent, and in what conditions, is high-DOF better than low-DOF?

5) Compliant actuation. How can compliance be measured in humans and robots? Is the co-contraction ability a useful feature to be measured?

6) Learning. Can machine learning improve the assessment of human-like features?

7) Qualitative vs quantitative. To what extent quantitative measures really improve the assessment of human-like features?

8) Simulation. Which are the potential and limitations of simulation tools compared to real-life robotic benchmarking?

9) Clinical translational potential. How much can we learn for clinical assessment of human gait? And vice versa, how much can clinical scenarios take advantage of methods used in robotic benchmarking?

10) Challenges and competitions. The ideal benchmarking scheme is made of fast, simple, repeatable and reliable procedures that, most importantly, should be applied across different bipedal machines. How far are we to this ambitious goal? To this aim, what kind of competitions can be envisioned? What can we learn from existing competitions?

To encourage the discussion, oral presentations will be interspersed with activities to stimulate the debate between the attendees. We are open to include any other topic or aspect that may be relevant. Please send us a list of questions or new topics, we will be happy to prepare a debate on your inputs.


How to contribute

If you wish to participate, please send a two-page abstract by Sept 10 to Notification of acceptance will be given by Sept 15. All accepted contributions will be orally presented during the workshop, to be held on October 15.

Please note that the during the Humanoids 2013 conference policy requires that all the presenters of the workshop must register for the conference. Early registration for WS presenters has been set to September 15.



Time Speaker Title File
8:30 - 8:45 Diego Torricelli
(CSIC, Spain)
Introduction download .pdf
POSTURE & BALANCE 8:45 - 9:15 Robert Peterka
(Oregon Health & Science University)
Plenary talk:
Measuring how humans control balance and orientation during stance and gait

Author: Robert J. Peterka
download .pdf
9:15 - 9:30 Vittorio Lippi
(University of Freiburg)
Benchmarking human-likeness of robot postural control - Suggestions from human experiments
Authors: Vittorio Lippi, Diego Torricelli, Georg Hettich, and Thomas Mergner.
download .pdf
9:30 - 9:45 Joo H. Kim
(New York University)
Balance Stability and Energy Efficiency: Towards the Analogy Between Robotic and Human Gait
Author: Joo H. Kim, Ph.D.
download .pdf
9:45 - 10:00 Andre Seyfarth
(Technische Universitaet Darmstadt)
Evaluating postural balance performance in exoskeleton robots
Authors: Jan F. Veneman, Andre Seyfarth, and Pierre Barralon
download .pdf
10:00 - 10:15 Shiv Ashutosh Katiyar
(IIIT-Allahabad, India)
Study of Musculoskeletal Model of human body and realising Biped Locomotion using Hybrid Automata
Author: Shiv Ashutosh Katiyar
10:15 - 10:30 Coffee break
LOCOMOTION 10:30 - 10:45 Strahinja Dosen
(University of Gottingen)
Introductive talk: Defining 'human-like': neural control and biomechanics of human locomotion
Author: Strahinja Dosen
10:45 - 11:15 Andre Seyfarth
(Technische Universitaet Darmstadt)
Plenary talk: Characterization of leg function in human and humanoid locomotion
Author: Andre Seyfarh
11:15 - 11:30 Oskar von Stryk
(Technische Universitaet Darmstadt)
The need for a common taxonomy and benchmarks to achieve "human-like" performance in bipedal robot locomotion
Authors: Katayon Radkhah and Oskar von Stryk
11:30 - 11:45 Steffen Schuetz
(University of Kaiserslautern)
Optimization of the behaviour system for controlling bipedal locomotion regarding external disturbances
Authors: Steffen Schuetz, Jie Zhao and Karsten Berns
download .pdf
11:45 - 12:00 Maarten Weckx
(Vrije University Brussels)
Compliant and efficient walking
Author: Maarten Weckx
download .pdf
12:00 - 12:15 Diego Torricelli
(CSIC, Spain)
Conclusions and next actions
Author: Diego Torricelli
download .pdf
12:15 - 12:25 Seyed Mohammad Khansari-Zadeh
(EPFL, Lausanne)
Introduction to the workshop on upper limb benchmarking (afternoon session)
Author: Seyed Mohammad Khansari-Zadeh