Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Optimization in Robotics and Biomechanics

Workshop at IEEE/RSJ IROS 2016 - Human Movement Understanding and Robotics


Emel Demircan, Human Performance and Robotics Laboratory, California State University, USA,

Manish Sreenivasa, Optimization in Robotics and Biomechanics, IWR, University of Heidelberg, Germany,

Workshop Scope

  • Understanding human locomotion and manipulation skills 
  • Learning/dimension reduction techniques in human movement
  • Musculoskeletal modeling of human body
  • Modeling human­-robot interaction
  • Model­-based optimization in robotics and biomechanics
  • EMG­-driven modeling and motion analysis 
  • Human­ centered physical assistance
  • Neural control of human­-robot systems
  • Operational space control of human movement
  • Software development to simulate human and robot motion 


Half-day workshop on October 14th,2016 at the Daejeon Convention Center, Daejeon, Korea

08:45 - 09:00          Introduction

09:00 - 10:00          Speaker Presentations I

10:00 - 10:30          Coffee Break

10:30 - 11:30          Speaker Presentations II

11:30 – 12:30         Short Presentations

12:30 – 12:50         Concluding Discussion


Confirmed Speakers

  • Ko Ayusawa, AIST, Tsukuba, Japan

    • "Reproducing human movements by humanoid robot for product evaluation"

  • Jaeheung Park, Seoul National University, Korea

    • "Synthesis and control approach for human-like motions"

  • Emel Demircan, California State University, Long Beach, USA

    • "Human performance and robotics"

  • Amy Laviers, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

    • "Choreographic abstractions for embodied design of robotic behavior"

Confirmed Short Talks

Rakesh Krishnan, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

    - "Human shoulder functional kinematics: Are we ready for the high-reliability computational challenge?"

Jim Mainprice, Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems

   - "Goal region inverse optimal control to predict human reaching motion in shared workspaces"

Amy Laviers, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

   - "A platform-invariant architecture for high-level spatial robotic commands"

Further program details will be posted soon. More information about the conference at


Robotics research has drawn much inspiration from humans as a system: in the design of the anthropomorphic aspects of manipulators, sensors, and actuators, the way it coordinates the motion of its body, and the higher level strategies of its realization of complex tasks and in interacting with the external environment. In recent years, robotics computational strategies have been seen to contribute significantly to the analysis of human motion and manipulation skills. The analyses have led to the advancements in the field of robotics, such as by allowing human­ inspired capabilities in robots and simulated systems as well as the nature inspired techniques of robot learning through observation. Furthermore, they also allowed the deeper understanding of human body and its motion generation strategies. This half­-day workshop on Human Movement Understanding and Robotics aims to gather, present, and discuss the state of the art of algorithms for modeling, analysis, control, and simulation of human movement and human­-robot interaction that has experienced a major research interest within the robotics community. It covers aspects commonly associated with the technical committees on human movement understanding, biorobotics, whole­ body control, and model­-based optimization within the Robotics and Automation Society (RAS), including bioinspiration, biomimetics, haptics, as well as topics from biomechanics; including real­time motion tracking, identification, and analysis, with applications in assistive robotics, sports medicine, rehabilitation, and orthopaedics. The main motivation and objectives of the workshop are as follows:

1. The strategies of human motion control and synthesis and its use in: the analysis of optimized human motion generation, such as in sports and other tasks requiring precise motion and manipulation of human body dynamics;

2. The strategies of human motion reconstruction on engineered anthropomorphic systems, such as the humanoid, mobile manipulators, and simulated systems;

3. Human motion generation and task learning, which includes but not limited to: the strategies of generalization of learnt tasks to the learning of new tasks, resolution of human motor redundancy, human strategies in the handling of constraints;

4. Understanding human brain for motor control and rehabilitation; and

5. Understanding human locomotion and manipulation skills applicable in humanoid motion control.

This intersection of fields of study has been a rich ground for cross-­fertilisation, where we see many members of our research community contributing significantly to both the fundamental techniques as well as the development of applications in this area. This half­-day workshop is intended to highlight the latest work in this intersection and to strengthen the efforts to bridge the gap between robotics and biomechanics research.

Intended Audience

Targeted audience includes but is not limited to: roboticists, biomechanics scientists, clinicians, and developers who would profit from being exposed to:

  •  Software tools for modeling and simulating motion and forces for neuro­musculoskeletal systems
  • State-­of-­the-­art tools and biomechanical models used in robotics community
  • Recent algorithms on human motion modeling, analysis, and control.
  • Applications in robotics and human biomechanics 

Supporting projects and IEEE RAS Technical committees

This workshop is supported by the IEEE RAS Technical Committee on Human Movement Understanding, and follows from several previous successful workshops at ICRA 2015/2014/2013, IROS 2013 and Humanoids 2015.

K. Mombaur,
Last Update: 04.10.2016 - 07:02

The photographs in the header of this webpage have been taken at the Musee de l'Automate in Souillac, France