Hybrid Recurrent Neural Network Architecture-Based Intention Recognition for Human-Robot Collaboration

Xiaoshan Gao, Liang Yan, Gang Wang, Chris Gerada

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Human-robot-collaboration requires robot to proactively and intelligently recognize the intention of human operator. Despite deep learning approaches have achieved certain results in performing feature learning and long-term temporal dependencies modeling, the motion prediction is still not desirable enough, which unavoidably compromises the accomplishment of tasks. Therefore, a hybrid recurrent neural network architecture is proposed for intention recognition to conduct the assembly tasks cooperatively. Specifically, the improved LSTM (ILSTM) and improved Bi-LSTM (IBi-LSTM) networks are first explored with state activation function and gate activation function to improve the network performance. The employment of the IBi-LSTM unit in the first layers of the hybrid architecture helps to learn the features effectively and fully from complex sequential data, and the LSTM-based cell in the last layer contributes to capturing the forward dependency. This hybrid network architecture can improve the prediction performance of intention recognition effectively. One experimental platform with the UR5 collaborative robot and human motion capture device is set up to test the performance of the proposed method. One filter, that is, the quartile-based amplitude limiting algorithm in sliding window, is designed to deal with the abnormal data of the spatiotemporal data, and thus, to improve the accuracy of network training and testing. The experimental results show that the hybrid network can predict the motion of human operator more precisely in collaborative workspace, compared with some representative deep learning methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1578-1586
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Human intention recognition
  • human-robot collaboration (HRC)
  • recurrent neural network (RNN)
  • spatiotemporal data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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