Velocity-curvature patterns limit human-robot physical interaction

Abstract : Physical human-robot collaboration is becoming more common, both in industrial and service robotics. Cooperative execution of a task requires intuitive and efficient interaction between both actors. For humans, this means being able to predict and adapt to robot movements. Given that natural human movement exhibits several robust features, we examined whether human-robot physical interaction is facilitated when these features are considered in robot control. The present study investigated how humans adapt to biological and non-biological velocity patterns in robot movements. Participants held the end-effector of a robot that traced an elliptic path with either biological (two-thirds power law) or non-biological velocity profiles. Participants were instructed to minimize the force applied on the robot end-effector. Results showed that the applied force was significantly lower when the robot moved with a biological velocity pattern. With extensive practice and enhanced feedback, participants were able to decrease their force when following a non-biological velocity pattern, but never reached forces below those obtained with the 2/3 power law profile. These results suggest that some robust features observed in natural human movements are also a strong preference in guided movements. Therefore, such features should be considered in human-robot physical collaboration.
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Pauline Maurice, Meghan Huber, Neville Hogan, Dagmar Sternad. Velocity-curvature patterns limit human-robot physical interaction. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, IEEE 2017, ⟨10.1109/LRA.2017.2737048⟩. ⟨hal-01568346⟩

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