Real-Time Motion Control of Robotic Manipulators for Safe Human-Robot Coexistence

Kelly Merckaert, Bryan Convens, Chi-ju Wu, Alessandro Roncone, Marco M. Nicotra, Bram Vanderborght

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
310 Downloads (Pure)


This paper introduces a computationally efficient control scheme for safe human-robot interaction. The method relies on the Explicit Reference Governor (ERG) formalism to enforce input and state constraints in real-time, thus ensuring that the robot can safely operate in close proximity to humans. The resulting constrained control method can steer the robot arm to the desired end-effector pose (or a steady-state admissible approximation thereof) in the presence of actuator saturation, limited joint ranges, speed limits, static obstacles, and humans. The effectiveness of the proposed solution is supported by theoretical results and numerous experimental validations on the Franka Emika Panda robotic manipulator, a commercially available collaborative 7-DOF robot arm.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102223
Number of pages14
JournalRobotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
Early online date5 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO), Belgium under grant numbers 37472 , 60523 , and 62062 , by the EU H2020 project under grant number 871237 , and by the Flemish Government under the program “Onderzoeksprogramma Artificiële Intelligentie (AI) Vlaanderen”.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Human–robot collaboration
  • collision avoidance
  • Constrained Control
  • robot arm


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