Curricula for teaching end-users to kinesthetically program collaborative robots

Gopika Ajaykumar, Gregory D. Hager, Chien Ming Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Non-expert users can now program robots using various end-user robot programming methods, which have widened the use of robots and lowered barriers preventing robot use by laypeople. Kinesthetic teaching is a common form of end-user robot programming, allowing users to forgo writing code by physically guiding the robot to demonstrate behaviors. Although it can be more accessible than writing code, kinesthetic teaching is difficult in practice because of users’ unfamiliarity with kinematics or limitations of robots and programming interfaces. Developing good kinesthetic demonstrations requires physical and cognitive skills, such as the ability to plan effective grasps for different task objects and constraints, to overcome programming difficulties. How to help users learn these skills remains a largely unexplored question, with users conventionally learning through self-guided practice. Our study compares how self-guided practice compares with curriculum-based training in building users’ programming proficiency. While we found no significant differences between study participants who learned through practice compared to participants who learned through our curriculum, our study reveals insights into factors contributing to end-user robot programmers’ confidence and success during programming and how learning interventions may contribute to such factors. Our work paves the way for further research on how to best structure training interventions for end-user robot programmers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0294786
JournalPloS one
Issue number12 December
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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