Initial studies in human-robot-human interaction: Fitts' law for two people

Kyle Reed*, Michael Peshkin, J. Edward Colgate, James Patton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Often two people must work together physically on a common task, such as lifting and positioning a long board, or, in our model experimental system, turning a two-handled crank. Such tasks involve communication between the people, mediated by the task kinematics and dynamics: each person feels forces and motions produced by the other and derives some meaning from them. Tasks may include a degree of competition: the two people may not have exactly the same goal in mind, and must negotiate a compromise. Understanding human-human communication is important in designing robots for interaction with humans, and for robots that provide powered assistance for human-human tasks (such as physical therapy). In this paper we describe early experiments in human-human physical interaction, with a 1 dof robot included in order to give experimental access to the exchange of forces and motions between the people. We report on Fitts' law-like tasks, in which the two people cooperate to move a cursor to a common target, or to targets that do not completely overlap. Our results suggest that human-human physical communication may be a rich area of study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2333-2338
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004
EventProceedings- 2004 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation - New Orleans, LA, United States
Duration: Apr 26 2004May 1 2004


  • Fitts' law
  • Haptic interaction
  • Human-human
  • Human-robot-human

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Initial studies in human-robot-human interaction: Fitts' law for two people'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this