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Special Issue "Robotic Contact with the Human Body in Physical Human–Robot Interaction"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Sensors and Robotics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jesús Manuel Gómez de Gabriel
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Systems Engineering and Automation Department, University of Malaga, Escuela de Ingenierías Industriales, 29071 Málaga, Spain
Interests: human-robot interaction
Dr. Juan Manuel Gandarias
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Istituto Italiano di Tecnología (IIT) Via Morego 30, 16163 Genova, Italy
Interests: physical Human-Robot Interaction; Human-Robot Collaboration; Haptics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Despite the progress in robotics in recent decades, the physical interaction between humans and robots is still a barely developed field, mainly because of safety requirements and the complexity of the task. A human is not a typical target for robot manipulation, but robots are already in contact with humans in existing applications such as rehabilitation, prosthetics, or feeding assistance. In these applications, contact is typically initiated or prepared by a human, and the remaining task is performed autonomously.


As robots become more intelligent, they are assigned tasks that involve more significant responsibility. There are many circumstances where a robot has to physically interact with a human in a fully autonomous way, including approach and contact operations, such as in rescue, nursing, elderly/child assistance, and many others.


This Special Issue focuses on the main challenges for successful autonomous physical interaction with humans: pre-contact human detection and perception, development of sensorized human-friendly grippers and manipulators, and methods to estimate and identify the parameters of the human model during the performance.


We invite authors to submit original research, new developments, experimental works, and surveys within the field of physical human-robot interaction (pHRI). The topics of interest of this special issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Robot-to-human manipulation
  • Physical Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC)
  • Assistive and rehabilitation robotics
  • Haptic perception for pHRI
  • Physical devices for pHRI
  • Human-friendly grippers
  • Soft robotics for pHRI
  • Human modeling
  • Human kinodynamics estimation
  • Motion and trajectory planning in pHRI applications
  • Wearable robotics
  • Exoskeletons
  • Robotic prostheses
  • Biomedical sensors
  • Robotic learning for pHRI
  • Human-in-the-loop
  • Sensor fusion in pHRI applications
  • Computer vision for pHRI
  • Robotic-assisted ergonomics
  • Mobile manipulation for HRC
  • Floating-base robots for HRC

Dr. Jesús Manuel Gómez de Gabriel

Dr. Juan Manuel Gandarias
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • vision-based human pose estimation
  • tactile sensing
  • haptic perception
  • Grippers for physical human-robot interaction
  • biomedical sensors
  • motion planning

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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