The human-human co-manipulation can be defined as the collaborative object manipulation in which two human; or more, handle a large/heavy object together.

During this collaborative task, the interaction forces provide a crucial communication channel as humans adjust their actions based on their haptic and force feedback. However, force/torque measurement is not straight forward; hence, other sensors such as motion trackers,  IMU’s can be utilised in combination with the force/torque sensors. In DigiTOP we aim to understand human behaviour in a manufacturing context and understand when and how an automated solution can be used to relife human operator from a tedious and stressful task. Therefore, we have set up a set of instruments to collect human-human co-manipulation data, as shown in Figure 1. Then, we asked two operators to carry on a co-manipulation task (Figure 2), to understand how we can robotise such a task in a human-robot solution, in which the human operator performs the co-manipulation task with a cobot.

image of instrumentation set up

Figure 1 Instrumentation setup

Detailed description of Figure 1:
Figure 1 shows from left to right, a human arm with Muscle Activity Sensors attached followed by two barbell weights on a spindle followed by Vicon Markers and finally furthest right in the image a Force/Torque Sensor

image of data collection storage

Figure 2 Data collection stage

For efficient Human-Robot collaboration, robots must be empowered with tools that allow it to distinguish and interpret human interaction forces during the co-manipulation task. Unfortunately, there is no intrinsic way to define interaction forces. In DigiTOP, we provide public experimental data [1], that can assist researchers and decision-makers to study human-human co-manipulation. The novelty here that the provided dataset includes EMG signals of the follower human, which allows us to study the correlation between different physical values such as acceleration, speed, force/torque and human muscle activity during the co-manipulation task.


[1] Al-Yacoub, Ali; Flanagan, Myles (2020): Human-Human co-manipulation data. Loughborough University. Online resource: