Abstract — Handing over objects to humans is an essential capability for assistive robots. While there are infinite ways to hand an object, robots should be able to choose the one that is best for the human. In this paper we focus on choosing the robot and object configuration at which the transfer of the object occurs, i.e. the hand-over configuration. We advocate the incorporation of user preferences in choosing hand-over configurations. We present a user study in which we collect data on human preferences and a human-robot interaction experiment in which we compare hand-over configurations learned from human examples against configurations planned using a kinematic model of the human. We find that the learned configurations are preferred in terms of several criteria, however planned configurations provide better reachability. Additionally, we find that humans prefer hand-overs with default orientations of objects and we identify several latent variables about the robot’s arm that capture significant human preferences. These findings point towards planners that can generate not only optimal but also preferable hand-over configurations for novel objects. I
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