- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Frontiers in Robotics and AI
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Rehabilitation of human motor function is an issue of growing significance, and human-interactive robots offer promising potential to meet the need. For the lower extremity, however, robot-aided therapy has proven challenging. To inform effective approaches to robotic gait therapy, it is important to better understand unimpaired locomotor control: its sensitivity to different mechanical contexts and its response to perturbations. The present study evaluated the behavior of 14 healthy subjects who walked on a motorized treadmill and overground while wearing an exoskeletal ankle robot. Their response to a periodic series of ankle plantar flexion torque pulses, delivered at periods different from, but sufficiently close to, their preferred stride cadence, was assessed to determine whether gait entrainment occurred, how it differed across conditions, and if the adapted motor behavior persisted after perturbation. Certain aspects of locomotor control were exquisitely sensitive to walking context, while others were not. Gaits entrained more often and more rapidly during overground walking, yet, in all cases, entrained gaits synchronized the torque pulses with ankle push-off, where they provided assistance with propulsion. Furthermore, subjects entrained to perturbation periods that required an adaption toward slower cadence, even though the pulses acted to accelerate gait, indicating a neural adaptation ofmore »
This study examined the interaction of gait-synchronized vibrotactile cues with an active ankle exoskeleton that provides plantarflexion assistance.
An exoskeleton that augments gait may support collaboration through feedback to the user about the state of the exoskeleton or characteristics of the task.
Participants ( N = 16) were provided combinations of torque assistance and vibrotactile cues at pre-specified time points in late swing and early stance while walking on a self-paced treadmill. Participants were either given explicit instructions ( N = 8) or were allowed to freely interpret (N=8) how to coordinate with cues.
For the free interpretation group, the data support an 8% increase in stride length and 14% increase in speed with exoskeleton torque across cue timing, as well as a 5% increase in stride length and 7% increase in speed with only vibrotactile cues. When given explicit instructions, participants modulated speed according to cue timing—increasing speed by 17% at cues in late swing and decreasing speed 11% at cues in early stance compared to no cue when exoskeleton torque was off. When torque was on, participants with explicit instructions had reduced changes in speed.
These findings support that the presence of torque mitigates how cues were usedmore »
Interactions between haptic feedback and exoskeleton use during gait can inform future feedback designs to support coordination between users and exoskeletons.
Admittance Control of a Teleoperated Motorized Functional Electrical Stimulation Rehabilitation CycleA bilateral teleoperated rehabilitation cycling system is developed for people with movement impairments due to various neurological disorders. A master hand-cycling device is used by the operator to set the desired position and cadence of a lower-body functional electrical stimulation (FES) controlled and motor assisted recumbent cycle. The master device also uses kinematic haptic feedback to reflect the lower-body cycle's dynamic response to the operator. To accommodate for the unknown nonlinear dynamics inherent to physical human machine interaction (pHMI), admittance controllers were developed to indirectly track desired interaction torques for both the haptic feedback device and the lower-body cycle. A robust position and cadence controller, which is only active within the regions of the crank cycle where FES produces sufficient torque values, was used to determine the FES intensity. A Lyapunov analysis is used to prove the robust FES controller yields global exponential tracking to the desired position and cadence set by the master device within FES stimulation regions. Outside of the FES regions, the admittance controllers at the hands and legs work in conjunction to produce desired performance. Both admittance controllers were analyzed for the entire crank cycle, and found to be input/output strictly passive and globally exponentially stablemore »
Across a plethora of social situations, we touch others in natural and intuitive ways to share thoughts and emotions, such as tapping to get one’s attention or caressing to soothe one’s anxiety. A deeper understanding of these human-to-human interactions will require, in part, the precise measurement of skin-to-skin physical contact. Among prior efforts, each measurement approach exhibits certain constraints, e.g., motion trackers do not capture the precise shape of skin surfaces, while pressure sensors impede skin-to-skin contact. In contrast, this work develops an interference-free 3D visual tracking system using a depth camera to measure the contact attributes between the bare hand of a toucher and the forearm of a receiver. The toucher’s hand is tracked as a posed and positioned mesh by fitting a hand model to detected 3D hand joints, whereas a receiver’s forearm is extracted as a 3D surface updated upon repeated skin contact. Based on a contact model involving point clouds, the spatiotemporal changes of hand-to-forearm contact are decomposed as six, high-resolution, time-series contact attributes, i.e., contact area, indentation depth, absolute velocity, and three orthogonal velocity components, together with contact duration. To examine the system’s capabilities and limitations, two types of experiments were performed. First, to evaluatemore »
In this paper, we analyze and report on observable trends in human-human dyads performing collaborative manipulation (co-manipulation) tasks with an extended object (object with significant length). We present a detailed analysis relating trends in interaction forces and torques with other metrics and propose that these trends could provide a way of improving communication and efficiency for human-robot dyads. We find that the motion of the co-manipulated object has a measurable oscillatory component. We confirm that haptic feedback alone represents a sufficient communication channel for co-manipulation tasks, however we find that the loss of visual and auditory channels has a significant effect on interaction torque and velocity. The main objective of this paper is to lay the essential groundwork in defining principles of co-manipulation between human dyads. We propose that these principles could enable effective and intuitive human-robot collaborative manipulation in future co-manipulation research.