Motivated by the need to improve the quality of life for the elderly and disabled individuals who rely on wheelchairs for mobility, and who may have limited or no hand functionality at all, we propose an egocentric computer vision based co-robot wheelchair to enhance their mobility without hand usage. The robot is built using a commercially available powered wheelchair modified to be controlled by head motion. Head motion is measured by tracking an egocentric camera mounted on the user’s head and faces outward. Compared with previous approaches to hands-free mobility, our system provides a more natural human robot interface because it enables the user to control the speed and direction of motion in a continuous fashion, as opposed to providing a small number of discrete commands. This article presents three usability studies, which were conducted on 37 subjects. The first two usability studies focus on comparing the proposed control method with existing solutions while the third study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of training subjects to operate the wheelchair over several sessions. A limitation of our studies is that they have been conducted with healthy participants. Our findings, however, pave the way for further studies with subjects with disabilities.
This content will become publicly available on July 1, 2023
Robotic Telekinesis: Learning a Robotic Hand Imitator by Watching Humans on Youtube
We build a system that enables any human to control a robot hand and arm, simply by demonstrating motions with their own hand. The robot observes the human operator via a single RGB camera and imitates their actions in real-time. Human hands and robot hands differ in shape, size, and joint structure, and performing this translation from a single uncalibrated camera is a highly underconstrained problem. Moreover, the retargeted trajectories must effectively execute tasks on a physical robot, which requires them to be temporally smooth and free of self-collisions. Our key insight is that while paired human-robot correspondence data is expensive to collect, the internet contains a massive corpus of rich and diverse human hand videos. We leverage this data to train a system that understands human hands and retargets a human video stream into a robot hand-arm trajectory that is smooth, swift, safe, and semantically similar to the guiding demonstration. We demonstrate that it enables previously untrained people to teleoperate a robot on various dexterous manipulation tasks. Our low-cost, glove-free, marker-free remote teleoperation system makes robot teaching more accessible and we hope that it can aid robots that learn to act autonomously in the real world.
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- Robotics: Science and Systems
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- National Science Foundation
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