Social robot navigation based on HRI non-verbal communication: A case study on avocado harvesting

Juan Pablo Vasconez, Leonardo Guevara, Fernando Auat Cheein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

19 Citations (Scopus)


To date, robotic applications in agriculture are still a challenging topic, which has been studied mainly for large farms. However, groves in particular, require tasks, such as picking and handling, that still require human labor force. In countries such as Chile and Peru, avocado is one of the main fruit production, but its growing in complex environments, making it difficult to fully automate the harvesting process. In this scenario, human-robot interaction (HRI) strategies can provide solutions to enhance the farming process. In this work, we propose the use of a HRI strategy via three visual non-verbal communication methods, with the aim of improving the avocado harvesting process leading to possible human workload decrement. Using such HRI directives, a robot motion controller is implemented for the robotic service unit to ensure that the interaction is socially acceptable during the avocado transportation task. The robot social navigation is tested in a simulated environment where the robot interacts with field workers to test three control tasks which are approaching, following and avoiding the human.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSAC '19: Proceedings of the 34th ACM/SIGAPP Symposium on Applied Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781450359337
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2019
Event34th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing 2019 - St. Raphael Resort, Limassol, Cyprus
Duration: 8 Apr 201912 Apr 2019


Conference34th Annual ACM Symposium on Applied Computing 2019
Abbreviated titleSAC 2019
Internet address


  • Avocado harvesting
  • Human-robot interaction
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Social robot navigation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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