DOI: 10.1115/1.4064258 ISSN: 1530-9827


Xinyao Zhang, Sibo Tian, Xiao Liang, Minghui Zheng, Sara Behdad
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software


Human intention prediction plays a critical role in human-robot collaboration, as it helps robots improve efficiency and safety by accurately anticipating human intentions and proactively assisting with tasks. While current applications often focus on predicting intent once human action is completed, recognizing human intent in advance has received less attention. This study aims to equip robots with the capability to forecast human intent before completing an action, i.e., early intent prediction. To achieve this objective, we first extract features from human motion trajectories by analyzing changes in human joint distances. These features are then utilized in a Hidden Markov Model (HMM) to determine the state transition times from uncertain intent to certain intent. Second, we propose two models including a Transformer and a Bi-LSTM for classifying motion intentions. Then, we design a human-robot collaboration experiment in which the operator reaches multiple targets while the robot moves continuously following a predetermined path. The data collected through the experiment were divided into two groups: full-length data and partial data before state transitions detected by the HMM. Finally, the effectiveness of the suggested framework for predicting intentions is assessed using two different datasets, particularly in a scenario when motion trajectories are similar but underlying intentions vary. The results indicate that using partial data prior to the motion completion yields better accuracy compared to using full-length data. Specifically, the Transformer model exhibits a 2% improvement in accuracy, while the Bi-LSTM model demonstrates a 6% increase in accuracy.

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