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Exploring the Design of Vibrotactile Cues for Visio-Haptic Sensory Substitution

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This paper presents the design and evaluation of a haptic interface for augmenting human-human interpersonal interactions by delivering facial expressions of an interaction partner to an individual who is blind using a visual-to-tactile mapping of facial action units and emotions.

This paper presents the design and evaluation of a haptic interface for augmenting human-human interpersonal interactions by delivering facial expressions of an interaction partner to an individual who is blind using a visual-to-tactile mapping of facial action units and emotions. Pancake shaftless vibration motors are mounted on the back of a chair to provide vibrotactile stimulation in the context of a dyadic (one-on-one) interaction across a table. This work explores the design of spatiotemporal vibration patterns that can be used to convey the basic building blocks of facial movements according to the Facial Action Unit Coding System. A behavioral study was conducted to explore the factors that influence the naturalness of conveying affect using vibrotactile cues.

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2014-05

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Development of a Soft Robotic Exosuit for Knee Flexion Assistance

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The knee joint has essential functions to support the body weight and maintain normal walking. Neurological diseases like stroke and musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis can affect the function of the knee. Besides physical therapy, robot-assisted therapy using wearable exoskeletons and

The knee joint has essential functions to support the body weight and maintain normal walking. Neurological diseases like stroke and musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis can affect the function of the knee. Besides physical therapy, robot-assisted therapy using wearable exoskeletons and exosuits has shown the potential as an efficient therapy that helps patients restore their limbs’ functions. Exoskeletons and exosuits are being developed for either human performance augmentation or medical purposes like rehabilitation. Although, the research on exoskeletons started early before exosuits, the research and development on exosuits have recently grown rapidly as exosuits have advantages that exoskeletons lack. The objective of this research is to develop a soft exosuit for knee flexion assistance and validate its ability to reduce the EMG activity of the knee flexor muscles. The exosuit has been developed with a novel soft fabric actuator and novel 3D printed adjustable braces to attach the actuator aligned with the knee. A torque analytical model has been derived and validate experimentally to characterize and predict the torque output of the actuator. In addition to that, the actuator’s deflation and inflation time has been experimentally characterized and a controller has been implemented and the exosuit has been tested on a healthy human subject. It is found that the analytical torque model succeeded to predict the torque output in flexion angle range from 0° to 60° more precisely than analytical models in the literature. Deviations existed beyond 60° might have happened because some factors like fabric extensibility and actuator’s bending behavior. After human testing, results showed that, for the human subject tested, the exosuit gave the best performance when the controller was tuned to inflate at 31.9 % of the gait cycle. At this inflation timing, the biceps femoris, the semitendinosus and the vastus lateralis muscles showed average electromyography (EMG) reduction of - 32.02 %, - 23.05 % and - 2.85 % respectively. Finally, it is concluded that the developed exosuit may assist the knee flexion of more diverse healthy human subjects and it may potentially be used in the future in human performance augmentation and rehabilitation of people with disabilities.

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2021

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A Novel Battery Management & Charging Solution for Autonomous UAV Systems

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Currently, one of the biggest limiting factors for long-term deployment of autonomous systems is the power constraints of a platform. In particular, for aerial robots such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the energy resource is the main driver of mission

Currently, one of the biggest limiting factors for long-term deployment of autonomous systems is the power constraints of a platform. In particular, for aerial robots such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the energy resource is the main driver of mission planning and operation definitions, as everything revolved around flight time. The focus of this work is to develop a new method of energy storage and charging for autonomous UAV systems, for use during long-term deployments in a constrained environment. We developed a charging solution that allows pre-equipped UAV system to land on top of designated charging pads and rapidly replenish their battery reserves, using a contact charging point. This system is designed to work with all types of rechargeable batteries, focusing on Lithium Polymer (LiPo) packs, that incorporate a battery management system for increased reliability. The project also explores optimization methods for fleets of UAV systems, to increase charging efficiency and extend battery lifespans. Each component of this project was first designed and tested in computer simulation. Following positive feedback and results, prototypes for each part of this system were developed and rigorously tested. Results show that the contact charging method is able to charge LiPo batteries at a 1-C rate, which is the industry standard rate, maintaining the same safety and efficiency standards as modern day direct connection chargers. Control software for these base stations was also created, to be integrated with a fleet management system, and optimizes UAV charge levels and distribution to extend LiPo battery lifetimes while still meeting expected mission demand. Each component of this project (hardware/software) was designed for manufacturing and implementation using industry standard tools, making it ideal for large-scale implementations. This system has been successfully tested with a fleet of UAV systems at Arizona State University, and is currently being integrated into an Arizona smart city environment for deployment.

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Date Created
2018

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Vibro-Thermal Haptic Display for Socio-Emotional Communication Through Pattern Generations

Description

Touch plays a vital role in maintaining human relationships through social andemotional communications. This research proposes a multi-modal haptic display
capable of generating vibrotactile and thermal haptic signals individually and simultaneously.
The main objective for creating this device is to

Touch plays a vital role in maintaining human relationships through social andemotional communications. This research proposes a multi-modal haptic display
capable of generating vibrotactile and thermal haptic signals individually and simultaneously.
The main objective for creating this device is to explore the importance
of touch in social communication, which is absent in traditional communication
modes like a phone call or a video call. By studying how humans interpret
haptically generated messages, this research aims to create a new communication
channel for humans. This novel device will be worn on the user's forearm and has
a broad scope of applications such as navigation, social interactions, notifications,
health care, and education. The research methods include testing patterns in the
vibro-thermal modality while noting its realizability and accuracy. Different patterns
can be controlled and generated through an Android application connected to
the proposed device via Bluetooth. Experimental results indicate that the patterns
SINGLE TAP and HOLD/SQUEEZE were easily identifiable and more relatable to
social interactions. In contrast, other patterns like UP-DOWN, DOWN-UP, LEFTRIGHT,
LEFT-RIGHT, LEFT-DIAGONAL, and RIGHT-DIAGONAL were less
identifiable and less relatable to social interactions. Finally, design modifications
are required if complex social patterns are needed to be displayed on the forearm.

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Date Created
2021