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Learning Dynamic Manipulation with Redundant Degrees of Freedom: Sub-Optimal Motor Solution induced by switching tasks

Description

The effect of conflicting sensorimotor memories on optimal force strategies was explored. Subjects operated a virtual object controlled by a physical handle to complete a simple straight-line task. Perturbations applied to the handle induced a period of increased error in

The effect of conflicting sensorimotor memories on optimal force strategies was explored. Subjects operated a virtual object controlled by a physical handle to complete a simple straight-line task. Perturbations applied to the handle induced a period of increased error in subject accuracy. After two blocks of 33 trials, perturbations switched direction, inducing increased error from the previous trials. Subjects returned after a 24-hour period to complete a similar protocol, but beginning with the second context and ending with the first. Interference from the first context on each day caused an increase in initial error for the second (P < 0.05). Following the rest period, subjects showed retention of the sensorimotor memory from the previous day through significantly decreased initial error (P = 3x10-6). However, subjects showed an increase in forces for each new context resulting from a sub-optimal motor strategy. Higher levels of total effort (P < 0.05) and a lack of separation between force values for opposing and non-opposing digits (P > 0.05) indicated a strategy that used more energy to complete the task, even when rates of learning appeared identical or improved. Two possible mechanisms for this lack of energy conservation have been proposed.

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Date Created
2016-05

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A Study of 3D Human Arm Impedance Towards the Development of an EMG-controlled Exoskeleton

Description

I worked on the human-machine interface to improve human physical capability. This work was done in the Human Oriented Robotics and Control Lab (HORC) towards the creation of an advanced, EMG-controlled exoskeleton. The project was new, and any work on

I worked on the human-machine interface to improve human physical capability. This work was done in the Human Oriented Robotics and Control Lab (HORC) towards the creation of an advanced, EMG-controlled exoskeleton. The project was new, and any work on the human- machine interface needs the physical interface itself. So I designed and fabricated a human-robot coupling device with a novel safety feature. The validation testing of this coupling proved very successful, and the device was granted a provisional patent as well as published to facilitate its spread to other human-machine interface applications, where it could be of major benefit. I then employed this coupling in experimentation towards understanding impedance, with the end goal being the creation of an EMG-based impedance exoskeleton control system. I modified a previously established robot-to-human perturbation method for use in my novel, three- dimensional (3D) impedance measurement experiment. Upon execution of this experiment, I was able to successfully characterize passive, static human arm stiffness in 3D, and in doing so validated the aforementioned method. This establishes an important foundation for promising future work on understanding impedance and the creation of the proposed control scheme, thereby furthering the field of human-robot interaction.

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Date Created
2013-05

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Active and passive precision grip responses to unexpected perturbations

Description

The development of advanced, anthropomorphic artificial hands aims to provide upper extremity amputees with improved functionality for activities of daily living. However, many state-of-the-art hands have a large number of degrees of freedom that can be challenging to control in

The development of advanced, anthropomorphic artificial hands aims to provide upper extremity amputees with improved functionality for activities of daily living. However, many state-of-the-art hands have a large number of degrees of freedom that can be challenging to control in an intuitive manner. Automated grip responses could be built into artificial hands in order to enhance grasp stability and reduce the cognitive burden on the user. To this end, three studies were conducted to understand how human hands respond, passively and actively, to unexpected perturbations of a grasped object along and about different axes relative to the hand. The first study investigated the effect of magnitude, direction, and axis of rotation on precision grip responses to unexpected rotational perturbations of a grasped object. A robust "catch-up response" (a rapid, pulse-like increase in grip force rate previously reported only for translational perturbations) was observed whose strength scaled with the axis of rotation. Using two haptic robots, we then investigated the effects of grip surface friction, axis, and direction of perturbation on precision grip responses for unexpected translational and rotational perturbations for three different hand-centric axes. A robust catch-up response was observed for all axes and directions for both translational and rotational perturbations. Grip surface friction had no effect on the stereotypical catch-up response. Finally, we characterized the passive properties of the precision grip-object system via robot-imposed impulse perturbations. The hand-centric axis associated with the greatest translational stiffness was different than that for rotational stiffness. This work expands our understanding of the passive and active features of precision grip, a hallmark of human dexterous manipulation. Biological insights such as these could be used to enhance the functionality of artificial hands and the quality of life for upper extremity amputees.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

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Human-robot cooperation: communication and leader-follower dynamics

Description

As robotic systems are used in increasingly diverse applications, the interaction of humans and robots has become an important area of research. In many of the applications of physical human robot interaction (pHRI), the robot and the human can be

As robotic systems are used in increasingly diverse applications, the interaction of humans and robots has become an important area of research. In many of the applications of physical human robot interaction (pHRI), the robot and the human can be seen as cooperating to complete a task with some object of interest. Often these applications are in unstructured environments where many paths can accomplish the goal. This creates a need for the ability to communicate a preferred direction of motion between both participants in order to move in coordinated way. This communication method should be bidirectional to be able to fully utilize both the robot and human capabilities. Moreover, often in cooperative tasks between two humans, one human will operate as the leader of the task and the other as the follower. These roles may switch during the task as needed. The need for communication extends into this area of leader-follower switching. Furthermore, not only is there a need to communicate the desire to switch roles but also to control this switching process. Impedance control has been used as a way of dealing with some of the complexities of pHRI. For this investigation, it was examined if impedance control can be utilized as a way of communicating a preferred direction between humans and robots. The first set of experiments tested to see if a human could detect a preferred direction of a robot by grasping and moving an object coupled to the robot. The second set tested the reverse case if the robot could detect the preferred direction of the human. The ability to detect the preferred direction was shown to be up to 99% effective. Using these results, a control method to allow a human and robot to switch leader and follower roles during a cooperative task was implemented and tested. This method proved successful 84% of the time. This control method was refined using adaptive control resulting in lower interaction forces and a success rate of 95%.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2014

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An Investigation of Human Error Correction in Anthropomorphic Robotic Armatures

Description

As robots become more prevalent, the need is growing for efficient yet stable control systems for applications with humans in the loop. As such, it is a challenge for scientists and engineers to develop robust and agile systems that are

As robots become more prevalent, the need is growing for efficient yet stable control systems for applications with humans in the loop. As such, it is a challenge for scientists and engineers to develop robust and agile systems that are capable of detecting instability in teleoperated systems. Despite how much research has been done to characterize the spatiotemporal parameters of human arm motions for reaching and gasping, not much has been done to characterize the behavior of human arm motion in response to control errors in a system. The scope of this investigation is to investigate human corrective actions in response to error in an anthropomorphic teleoperated robot limb. Characterizing human corrective actions contributes to the development of control strategies that are capable of mitigating potential instabilities inherent in human-machine control interfaces. Characterization of human corrective actions requires the simulation of a teleoperated anthropomorphic armature and the comparison of a human subject's arm kinematics, in response to error, against the human arm kinematics without error. This was achieved using OpenGL software to simulate a teleoperated robot arm and an NDI motion tracking system to acquire the subject's arm position and orientation. Error was intermittently and programmatically introduced to the virtual robot's joints as the subject attempted to reach for several targets located around the arm. The comparison of error free human arm kinematics to error prone human arm kinematics revealed an addition of a bell shaped velocity peak into the human subject's tangential velocity profile. The size, extent, and location of the additional velocity peak depended on target location and join angle error. Some joint angle and target location combinations do not produce an additional peak but simply maintain the end effector velocity at a low value until the target is reached. Additional joint angle error parameters and degrees of freedom are needed to continue this investigation.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2013-05

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Multi-directional slip detection between artificial fingers and a grasped object

Description

Effective tactile sensing in prosthetic and robotic hands is crucial for improving the functionality of such hands and enhancing the user's experience. Thus, improving the range of tactile sensing capabilities is essential for developing versatile artificial hands. Multimodal tactile sensors

Effective tactile sensing in prosthetic and robotic hands is crucial for improving the functionality of such hands and enhancing the user's experience. Thus, improving the range of tactile sensing capabilities is essential for developing versatile artificial hands. Multimodal tactile sensors called BioTacs, which include a hydrophone and a force electrode array, were used to understand how grip force, contact angle, object texture, and slip direction may be encoded in the sensor data. Findings show that slip induced under conditions of high contact angles and grip forces resulted in significant changes in both AC and DC pressure magnitude and rate of change in pressure. Slip induced under conditions of low contact angles and grip forces resulted in significant changes in the rate of change in electrode impedance. Slip in the distal direction of a precision grip caused significant changes in pressure magnitude and rate of change in pressure, while slip in the radial direction of the wrist caused significant changes in the rate of change in electrode impedance. A strong relationship was established between slip direction and the rate of change in ratios of electrode impedance for radial and ulnar slip relative to the wrist. Consequently, establishing multiple thresholds or establishing a multivariate model may be a useful method for detecting and characterizing slip. Detecting slip for low contact angles could be done by monitoring electrode data, while detecting slip for high contact angles could be done by monitoring pressure data. Predicting slip in the distal direction could be done by monitoring pressure data, while predicting slip in the radial and ulnar directions could be done by monitoring electrode data.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

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On ehancing myoelectric interfaces by exploiting motor learning and flexible muscle synergies

Description

Myoelectric control is lled with potential to signicantly change human-robot interaction.

Humans desire compliant robots to safely interact in dynamic environments

associated with daily activities. As surface electromyography non-invasively measures

limb motion intent and correlates with joint stiness during co-contractions,

it has been identied

Myoelectric control is lled with potential to signicantly change human-robot interaction.

Humans desire compliant robots to safely interact in dynamic environments

associated with daily activities. As surface electromyography non-invasively measures

limb motion intent and correlates with joint stiness during co-contractions,

it has been identied as a candidate for naturally controlling such robots. However,

state-of-the-art myoelectric interfaces have struggled to achieve both enhanced

functionality and long-term reliability. As demands in myoelectric interfaces trend

toward simultaneous and proportional control of compliant robots, robust processing

of multi-muscle coordinations, or synergies, plays a larger role in the success of the

control scheme. This dissertation presents a framework enhancing the utility of myoelectric

interfaces by exploiting motor skill learning and

exible muscle synergies for

reliable long-term simultaneous and proportional control of multifunctional compliant

robots. The interface is learned as a new motor skill specic to the controller,

providing long-term performance enhancements without requiring any retraining or

recalibration of the system. Moreover, the framework oers control of both motion

and stiness simultaneously for intuitive and compliant human-robot interaction. The

framework is validated through a series of experiments characterizing motor learning

properties and demonstrating control capabilities not seen previously in the literature.

The results validate the approach as a viable option to remove the trade-o

between functionality and reliability that have hindered state-of-the-art myoelectric

interfaces. Thus, this research contributes to the expansion and enhancement of myoelectric

controlled applications beyond commonly perceived anthropomorphic and

\intuitive control" constraints and into more advanced robotic systems designed for

everyday tasks.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

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Data-Efficient Reinforcement Learning Control of Robotic Lower-Limb Prosthesis With Human in the Loop

Description

Robotic lower limb prostheses provide new opportunities to help transfemoral amputees regain mobility. However, their application is impeded by that the impedance control parameters need to be tuned and optimized manually by prosthetists for each individual user in different task

Robotic lower limb prostheses provide new opportunities to help transfemoral amputees regain mobility. However, their application is impeded by that the impedance control parameters need to be tuned and optimized manually by prosthetists for each individual user in different task environments. Reinforcement learning (RL) is capable of automatically learning from interacting with the environment. It becomes a natural candidate to replace human prosthetists to customize the control parameters. However, neither traditional RL approaches nor the popular deep RL approaches are readily suitable for learning with limited number of samples and samples with large variations. This dissertation aims to explore new RL based adaptive solutions that are data-efficient for controlling robotic prostheses.

This dissertation begins by proposing a new flexible policy iteration (FPI) framework. To improve sample efficiency, FPI can utilize either on-policy or off-policy learning strategy, can learn from either online or offline data, and can even adopt exiting knowledge of an external critic. Approximate convergence to Bellman optimal solutions are guaranteed under mild conditions. Simulation studies validated that FPI was data efficient compared to several established RL methods. Furthermore, a simplified version of FPI was implemented to learn from offline data, and then the learned policy was successfully tested for tuning the control parameters online on a human subject.

Next, the dissertation discusses RL control with information transfer (RL-IT), or knowledge-guided RL (KG-RL), which is motivated to benefit from transferring knowledge acquired from one subject to another. To explore its feasibility, knowledge was extracted from data measurements of able-bodied (AB) subjects, and transferred to guide Q-learning control for an amputee in OpenSim simulations. This result again demonstrated that data and time efficiency were improved using previous knowledge.

While the present study is new and promising, there are still many open questions to be addressed in future research. To account for human adaption, the learning control objective function may be designed to incorporate human-prosthesis performance feedback such as symmetry, user comfort level and satisfaction, and user energy consumption. To make the RL based control parameter tuning practical in real life, it should be further developed and tested in different use environments, such as from level ground walking to stair ascending or descending, and from walking to running.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2020

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Conventional Vs Robotic Stroke Therapy: Designing a Pilot study

Description

Stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients, thus causing brain cells to die. Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United

Stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients, thus causing brain cells to die. Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States and is one of the major causes of disability. Conventional therapy is a form of stroke rehabilitation generally consisting of physical and occupational therapy. It focuses on customized exercises based on the patient’s feedback. Physical therapy includes exercises such as weight bearing (affected arm), vibration of affected muscle and gravity-eliminated movement of affected arm. Overall physical therapy aims at strengthening muscle groups and aides in the relearning process. Occupational aspect of conventional therapy includes activities of daily living (ADL) such as dressing, self-feeding, grooming and toileting. Overall occupational therapy focuses on improving the daily activities performed by individuals. In comparison to conventional therapy, robotic therapy is relatively newer therapy. It uses robotic devices to perform repetitive motions and delivers high dosage and high intensity training to stroke patients. Based on the research studies reviewed, it is known that neuroplasticity in stroke patients is linked to interventions which are high in dosage, intensity, repetition, difficulty, salience. Peer-reviewed literature suggests robotic therapy might be a viable option for recovery in stroke patients. However, the extent to which robotic therapy may provide greater benefits than conventional therapy remains unclear. This thesis addresses the key components of a study design for comparing the efficacy of robotic therapy relative to conventional therapy to improve upper limb sensorimotor function in stroke survivors. The study design is based on an extensive review of the literature of stroke clinical trials and robotic therapy studies, analyses of the capabilities of a robotic therapy device (M2, Fourier Intelligence), and pilot data collected on healthy controls to create a pipeline of tasks and analyses to extract biomarkers of sensorimotor functional changes. This work has laid the foundation for a pilot longitudinal study that will be conducted at the Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ, where conventional and robotic therapy will be compared in a small cohort of stroke survivors.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2021

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The Design and Characterization of a Soft Haptic Interface for Rehabilitation of Impaired Hand Function

Description

The human hand comprises complex sensorimotor functions that can be impaired by neurological diseases and traumatic injuries. Effective rehabilitation can bring the impaired hand back to a functional state because of the plasticity of the central nervous system to relearn

The human hand comprises complex sensorimotor functions that can be impaired by neurological diseases and traumatic injuries. Effective rehabilitation can bring the impaired hand back to a functional state because of the plasticity of the central nervous system to relearn and remodel the lost synapses in the brain. Current rehabilitation therapies focus on strengthening motor skills, such as grasping, employ multiple objects of varying stiffness and devices that are bulky, costly, and have limited range of stiffness due to the rigid mechanisms employed in their variable stiffness actuators. This research project presents a portable cost-effective soft robotic haptic device with a broad stiffness range that is adjustable and can be utilized in both clinical and home settings. The device eliminates the need for multiple objects by employing a pneumatic soft structure made with highly compliant materials that act as the actuator as well as the structure of the haptic interface. It is made with interchangeable soft elastomeric sleeves that can be customized to include materials of varying stiffness to increase or decrease the stiffness range. The device is fabricated using existing 3D printing technologies, and polymer molding and casting techniques, thus keeping the cost low and throughput high. The haptic interface is linked to either an open-loop system that allows for an increased pressure during usage or closed-loop system that provides pressure regulation in accordance with the stiffness the user specifies. A preliminary evaluation is performed to characterize the effective controllable region of variance in stiffness. Results indicate that the region of controllable stiffness was in the center of the device, where the stiffness appeared to plateau with each increase in pressure. The two control systems are tested to derive relationships between internal pressure, grasping force exertion on the surface, and displacement using multiple probing points on the haptic device. Additional quantitative evaluation is performed with study participants and juxtaposed to a qualitative analysis to ensure adequate perception in compliance variance. Finally, a qualitative evaluation showed that greater than 60% of the trials resulted in the correct perception of stiffness in the haptic device.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2018