Scenario-based model predictive control with probabilistic human predictions for human–robot coexistence

Artemiy Oleinikov, Sergey Soltan, Zarema Balgabekova, Alberto Bemporad, Matteo Rubagotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper proposes a real-time motion planning scheme for safe human–robot workspace sharing relying on scenario-based nonlinear model predictive control (NMPC), a well-known approach for solving stochastic NMPC problems. A scenario tree is generated via higher-order Markov chains to provide probabilistic predictions of the human motion. Scenario-based NMPC is then used to generate point-to-point motions of the robot manipulator based on the above-mentioned human motion predictions, accounting for safety constraints via speed and separation monitoring (SSM). This means that the robot speed is always modulated to be able to stop before a possible collision with the human occurs. After proving theoretical properties on recursive feasibility and closed-loop stability of the proposed motion planning strategy, this is tested experimentally on a Kinova Gen3 robot interacting with a human operator, showing superior performance with respect to an NMPC scheme not relying on human predictions and to a fixed-path SSM strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105769
JournalControl Engineering Practice
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Nonlinear model predictive control
  • Physical human–robot interaction
  • Robot motion planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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