Matching Items (64)

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Bio-Inspired Control for Robot Hand Catching and Grasping

Description

This thesis focused on grasping tasks with the goal of investigating, analyzing, and quantifying human catching trends by way of a mathematical model. The aim of this project was to

This thesis focused on grasping tasks with the goal of investigating, analyzing, and quantifying human catching trends by way of a mathematical model. The aim of this project was to study human trends in a dynamic grasping task (catching a rolling ball), relate those discovered trends to kinematic characteristics of the object, and use this relation to control a robot hand in real time. As an ultimate goal, it was hoped that this research will aide in furthering the bio-inspiration in robot control methods. To achieve the above goal, firstly a tactile sensing glove was developed. This instrument allowed for in depth study of human reactionary grasping movements when worn by subjects during experimentation. This sensing glove system recorded force data from the palm and motion data from four fingers. From these data sets, temporal trends were established relating to when subjects initiated grasping during each trial. Moreover, optical tracking was implemented to study the kinematics of the moving object during human experiments and also to close the loop during the control of the robot hand. Ultimately, a mathematical bio-inspired model was created. This was embodied in a two-term decreasing power function which related the temporal trend of wait time to the ball initial acceleration. The wait time is defined as the time between when the experimental conductor releases the ball and when the subject begins to initiate grasping by closing their fingers, over a distance of four feet. The initial acceleration is the first acceleration value of the object due to the force provided when the conductor throws the object. The distance over which the ball was thrown was incorporated into the model. This is discussed in depth within the thesis. Overall, the results presented here show promise for bio-inspired control schemes in the successful application of robotic devices. This control methodology will ideally be developed to move robotic prosthesis past discrete tasks and into more complicated activities.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Human Perception of Swarm Behavior

Description

This thesis focused on understanding how humans visually perceive swarm behavior through the use of swarm simulations and gaze tracking. The goal of this project was to determine visual patterns

This thesis focused on understanding how humans visually perceive swarm behavior through the use of swarm simulations and gaze tracking. The goal of this project was to determine visual patterns subjects display while observing and supervising a swarm as well as determine what swarm characteristics affect these patterns. As an ultimate goal, it was hoped that this research will contribute to optimizing human-swarm interaction for the design of human supervisory controllers for swarms. To achieve the stated goals, two investigations were conducted. First, subjects gaze was tracked while observing a simulated swarm as it moved across the screen. This swarm changed in size, disturbance level in the position of the agents, speed, and path curvature. Second, subjects were asked to play a supervisory role as they watched a swarm move across the screen toward targets. The subjects determined whether a collision would occur and with which target while their responses as well as their gaze was tracked. In the case of an observatory role, a model of human gaze was created. This was embodied in a second order model similar to that of a spring-mass-damper system. This model was similar across subjects and stable. In the case of a supervisory role, inherent weaknesses in human perception were found, such as the inability to predict future position of curved paths. These findings are discussed in depth within the thesis. Overall, the results presented suggest that understanding human perception of swarms offers a new approach to the problem of swarm control. The ability to adapt controls to the strengths and weaknesses could lead to great strides in the reduction of operators in the control of one UAV, resulting in a move towards one man operation of a swarm.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Multidigit Tactile Exploration of Environment through an Object

Description

The ideal function of an upper limb prosthesis is to replace the human hand and arm, but a gulf in functionality between prostheses and biological arms still exists, in large

The ideal function of an upper limb prosthesis is to replace the human hand and arm, but a gulf in functionality between prostheses and biological arms still exists, in large part due the absence of the sense of touch. Tactile sensing of the human hand comprises a key component of a wide variety of interactions with the external environment; visual feedback alone is not always sufficient for the recreation of nuanced tasks. It is hoped that the results of this study can contribute to the advancement of prosthetics with a tactile feedback loop with the ultimate goal of replacing biological function. A three-fingered robot hand equipped with tactile sensing fingertips was used to biomimetically grasp a ball in order haptically explore the environment for a ball-in-hole task. The sensorized fingertips were used to measure the vibration, pressure, and skin deformation experienced by each fingertip. Vibration and pressure sensed by the fingertips were good indicators of changes in discrete phases of the exploratory motion such as contact with the lip of a hole. The most informative tactile cue was the skin deformation of the fingers. Upon encountering the lip of the test surface, the lagging digit experienced compression in the fingertip and radial distal region of the digit. The middle digit experienced decompression of the middle region of the finger and the lagging digit showed compression towards the middle digit and decompression in the distal-ulnar region. Larger holes caused an increase in pressure experienced by the fingertips while changes in stroke speed showed no effect on tactile data. Larger coefficients of friction between the ball and the test surface led to an increase in pressure and skin deformation of the finger. Unlike most tactile sensing studies that focus on tactile stimuli generated by direct contact between a fingertip and the environment, this preliminary study focused on tactile stimuli generated when a grasped object interacts with the environment. Findings from this study could be used to design experiments for functionally similar activities of daily living, such as the haptic search for a keyhole via a grasped key.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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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,

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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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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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

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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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Design of a Collapsible Instrument for Studying Grasp of Breakable Objects

Description

Research on human grasp typically involves the grasp of objects designed for the study of fingertip forces. Instrumented objects for such studies have often been designed for the simulation of

Research on human grasp typically involves the grasp of objects designed for the study of fingertip forces. Instrumented objects for such studies have often been designed for the simulation of functional tasks, such as feeding oneself, or for rigidity such that the objects do not deform when grasped. The goal of this thesis was to design a collapsible, instrumented object to study grasp of breakable objects. Such an object would enable experiments on human grip responses to unexpected finger-object events as well as anticipatory mechanisms once object fragility has been observed. The collapsible object was designed to be modular to allow for properties such as friction and breaking force to be altered. The instrumented object could be used to study both human and artificial grasp.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012-05

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Lower Limb Gait Simulator Based on a Pure External Force

Description

For the past two decades, advanced Limb Gait Simulators and Exoskeletons have been developed to improve walking rehabilitation. A Limb Gait Simulator is used to analyze the human step cycle

For the past two decades, advanced Limb Gait Simulators and Exoskeletons have been developed to improve walking rehabilitation. A Limb Gait Simulator is used to analyze the human step cycle and/or assist a user walking on a treadmill. Most modern limb gait simulators, such as ALEX, have proven themselves effective and reliable through their usage of motors, springs, cables, elastics, pneumatics and reaction loads. These mechanisms apply internal forces and reaction loads to the body. On the other hand, external forces are those caused by an external agent outside the system such as air, water, or magnets. A design for an exoskeleton using external forces has seldom been attempted by researchers. This thesis project focuses on the development of a Limb Gait Simulator based on a Pure External Force and has proven its effectiveness in generating torque on the human leg. The external force is generated through air propulsion using an Electric Ducted Fan (EDF) motor. Such a motor is typically used for remote control airplanes, but their applications can go beyond this. The objective of this research is to generate torque on the human leg through the control of the EDF engines thrust and the opening/closing of the reverse thruster flaps. This device qualifies as "assist as needed"; the user is entirely in control of how much assistance he or she may want. Static thrust values for the EDF engine are recorded using a thrust test stand. The product of the thrust (N) and the distance on the thigh (m) is the resulting torque. With the motor running at maximum RPM, the highest torque value reached was that of 3.93 (Nm). The motor EDF motor is powered by a 6S 5000 mAh LiPo battery. This torque value could be increased with the usage of a second battery connected in series, but this comes at a price. The designed limb gait simulator demonstrates that external forces, such as air, could have potential in the development of future rehabilitation devices.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Variable Stiffness Treadmill (VST): Design, Development, and Implementation of a Novel Tool for the Investigation of Human Gait

Description

The generation of walking motion is one of the most vital functions of the human body because it allows us to be mobile in our environment. Unfortunately, numerous individuals suffer

The generation of walking motion is one of the most vital functions of the human body because it allows us to be mobile in our environment. Unfortunately, numerous individuals suffer from gait impairment as a result of debilitating conditions like stroke, resulting in a serious loss of mobility. Our understanding of human gait is limited by the amount of research we conduct in relation to human walking mechanisms and their characteristics. In order to better understand these characteristics and the systems involved in the generation of human gait, it is necessary to increase the depth and range of research pertaining to walking motion. Specifically, there has been a lack of investigation into a particular area of human gait research that could potentially yield interesting conclusions about gait rehabilitation, which is the effect of surface stiffness on human gait. In order to investigate this idea, a number of studies have been conducted using experimental devices that focus on changing surface stiffness; however, these systems lack certain functionality that would be useful in an experimental scenario. To solve this problem and to investigate the effect of surface stiffness further, a system has been developed called the Variable Stiffness Treadmill system (VST). This treadmill system is a unique investigative tool that allows for the active control of surface stiffness. What is novel about this system is its ability to change the stiffness of the surface quickly, accurately, during the gait cycle, and throughout a large range of possible stiffness values. This type of functionality in an experimental system has never been implemented and constitutes a tremendous opportunity for valuable gait research in regard to the influence of surface stiffness. In this work, the design, development, and implementation of the Variable Stiffness Treadmill system is presented and discussed along with preliminary experimentation. The results from characterization testing demonstrate highly accurate stiffness control and excellent response characteristics for specific configurations. Initial indications from human experimental trials in relation to quantifiable effects from surface stiffness variation using the Variable Stiffness Treadmill system are encouraging.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Development of Graphical User Interfaces and Algorithms for Controlling a Robotic Swarm

Description

The aim of this project was to develop user-friendly methods for programming and controlling a new type of small robot platform, called Pheeno, both individually and as part of a

The aim of this project was to develop user-friendly methods for programming and controlling a new type of small robot platform, called Pheeno, both individually and as part of a group. Two literature reviews are presented to justify the need for these robots and to discuss what other platforms have been developed for similar applications. In order to accomplish control of multiple robots work was done on controlling a single robot first. The response of a gripper arm attachment for the robot was smoothed, graphical user interfaces were developed, and commands were sent to a single robot using a video game controller. For command of multiple robots a class was developed in Python to make it simpler to send commands and keep track of different characteristics of each individual robot. A simple script was also created as a proof of concept to show how threading could be used to send different commands simultaneously to multiple robots in order to test algorithms on a group of robots. The class and two other scripts necessary for implementing the class are also presented to make it possible for future use of the given work.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Development of a Lower Extremity Robotic Device for Ankle Studies

Description

The quality of life of many people is lowered by impediments to walking ability caused by neurological conditions such as strokes. Since the ankle joint plays an important role in

The quality of life of many people is lowered by impediments to walking ability caused by neurological conditions such as strokes. Since the ankle joint plays an important role in locomotion, it is a common subject of study in rehabilitation research. Robotic devices such as active ankle-foot orthoses and powered exoskeletons have the potential to be used directly in physical therapy or indirectly in research pursuing more effective rehabilitation methods. This paper presents the LiTREAD, a lightweight three degree-of-freedom robotic exoskeletal ankle device. This novel robotic system is designed to be worn on a user's leg and actuate the foot position during treadmill studies. The robot's sagittal plane actuation is complemented by passive virtual axis systems in the frontal and transverse planes. Together, these degrees of freedom allow the device to approximate the full range of motion of the ankle. The virtual axis mechanisms feature locking configurations that will allow the effect of these degrees of freedom on gait dynamics to be studied. Based on a kinematic analysis of the robot's actuation and geometry, it is expected to meet and exceed its torque and speed targets, respectively. The device will fit either leg of a range of subject sizes, and is expected to weigh just 1.3 kg (2.9 lb.). These features and characteristics are designed to minimize the robot's interference with the natural walking motion. Pending validation studies confirming that all design criteria have been met, the LiTREAD prototype that has been constructed will be utilized in various experiments investigating properties of the ankle such as its mechanical impedance. It is hoped that the LiTREAD will yield valuable data that will expand our knowledge of the ankle and aid in the design of future lower-extremity devices.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12