iCub-HRI: A Software Framework for Complex Human–Robot Interaction Scenarios on the iCub Humanoid Robot

Tobias Fischer, Jordi-Ysard Puigbò, Daniel Camilleri, Phuong D. H. Nguyen, Clément Moulin-Frier, Stéphane Lallée, Giorgio Metta, Tony J. Prescott, Yiannis Demiris, Paul F. M. J. Verschure


Generating complex, human-like behavior in a humanoid robot like the iCub requires the integration of a wide range of open source components and a scalable cognitive architecture. Hence, we present the iCub-HRI library which provides convenience wrappers for components related to perception (object recognition, agent tracking, speech recognition, and touch detection), object manipulation (basic and complex motor actions), and social interaction (speech synthesis and joint attention) exposed as a C++ library with bindings for Java (allowing to use iCub-HRI within Matlab) and Python. In addition to previously integrated components, the library allows for simple extension to new components and rapid prototyping by adapting to changes in interfaces between components. We also provide a set of modules which make use of the library, such as a high-level knowledge acquisition module and an action recognition module. The proposed architecture has been successfully employed for a complex human–robot interaction scenario involving the acquisition of language capabilities, execution of goal-oriented behavior and expression of a verbal narrative of the robot’s experience in the world. Accompanying this paper is a tutorial which allows a subset of this interaction to be reproduced. The architecture is aimed at researchers familiarizing themselves with the iCub ecosystem, as well as expert users, and we expect the library to be widely used in the iCub community.


Fischer, Tobias, Puigbò, Jordi-Ysard, Camilleri, Daniel, Nguyen, Phuong D. H., Moulin-Frier, Clément, Lallée, Stéphane, Metta, Giorgio, Prescott, Tony J., Demiris, Yiannis, Verschure, P., (2018). iCub-HRI: A software framework for complex human-robot interaction scenarios on the iCub humanoid robot  Frontiers in Robotics and AI , 5, (22), Article 22