Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 4

4
10008890
Mathematical Description of Functional Motion and Application as a Feeding Mode for General Purpose Assistive Robots
Abstract:
Eating a meal is among the Activities of Daily Living, but it takes a lot of time and effort for people with physical or functional limitations. Dedicated technologies are cumbersome and not portable, while general-purpose assistive robots such as wheelchair-based manipulators are too hard to control for elaborate continuous motion like eating. Eating with such devices has not previously been automated, since there existed no description of a feeding motion for uncontrolled environments. In this paper, we introduce a feeding mode for assistive manipulators, including a mathematical description of trajectories for motions that are difficult to perform manually such as gathering and scooping food at a defined/desired pace. We implement these trajectories in a sequence of movements for a semi-automated feeding mode which can be controlled with a very simple 3-button interface, allowing the user to have control over the feeding pace. Finally, we demonstrate the feeding mode with a JACO robotic arm and compare the eating speed, measured in bites per minute of three eating methods: a healthy person eating unaided, a person with upper limb limitations or disability using JACO with manual control, and a person with limitations using JACO with the feeding mode. We found that the feeding mode allows eating about 5 bites per minute, which should be sufficient to eat a meal under 30min.
3
10006962
Investigating Breakdowns in Human Robot Interaction: A Conversation Analysis Guided Single Case Study of a Human-Robot Communication in a Museum Environment
Abstract:

In a single case study, we show how a conversation analysis (CA) approach can shed light onto the sequential unfolding of human-robot interaction. Relying on video data, we are able to show that CA allows us to investigate the respective turn-taking systems of humans and a NAO robot in their dialogical dynamics, thus pointing out relevant differences. Our fine grained video analysis points out occurring breakdowns and their overcoming, when humans and a NAO-robot engage in a multimodally uttered multi-party communication during a sports guessing game. Our findings suggest that interdisciplinary work opens up the opportunity to gain new insights into the challenging issues of human robot communication in order to provide resources for developing mechanisms that enable complex human-robot interaction (HRI).

2
10006973
MAGNI Dynamics: A Vision-Based Kinematic and Dynamic Upper-Limb Model for Intelligent Robotic Rehabilitation
Abstract:
This paper presents a home-based robot-rehabilitation instrument, called ”MAGNI Dynamics”, that utilized a vision-based kinematic/dynamic module and an adaptive haptic feedback controller. The system is expected to provide personalized rehabilitation by adjusting its resistive and supportive behavior according to a fuzzy intelligence controller that acts as an inference system, which correlates the user’s performance to different stiffness factors. The vision module uses the Kinect’s skeletal tracking to monitor the user’s effort in an unobtrusive and safe way, by estimating the torque that affects the user’s arm. The system’s torque estimations are justified by capturing electromyographic data from primitive hand motions (Shoulder Abduction and Shoulder Forward Flexion). Moreover, we present and analyze how the Barrett WAM generates a force-field with a haptic controller to support or challenge the users. Experiments show that by shifting the proportional value, that corresponds to different stiffness factors of the haptic path, can potentially help the user to improve his/her motor skills. Finally, potential areas for future research are discussed, that address how a rehabilitation robotic framework may include multisensing data, to improve the user’s recovery process.
1
11517
Modular Hybrid Robots for Safe Human-Robot Interaction
Abstract:

The paper considers a novel modular and intrinsically safe redundant robotic system with biologically inspired actuators (pneumatic artificial muscles and rubber bellows actuators). Similarly to the biological systems, the stiffness of the internal parallel modules, representing 2 DOF joints in the serial robotic chains, is controlled by co-activation of opposing redundant actuator groups in the null-space of the module Jacobian, without influencing the actual robot position. The decoupled position/stiffness control allows the realization of variable joint stiffness according to different force-displacement relationships. The variable joint stiffness, as well as limited pneumatic muscle/bellows force ability, ensures internal system safety that is crucial for development of human-friendly robots intended for human-robot collaboration. The initial experiments with the system prototype demonstrate the capabilities of independently, simultaneously controlling both joint (Cartesian) motion and joint stiffness. The paper also presents the possible industrial applications of snake-like robots built using the new modules.

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