Departmental Papers (MEAM)

Document Type

Conference Paper

Subject Area


Date of this Version

September 1997


Postprint version. Published in Proceedings of the Conference on Intelligent Robot Systems (IROS'97), September 1997.


The main objective of this paper is to study human dual arm manipulation tasks and to develop a computational model that predicts the trajectories and the force distribution for the coordination of two arms moving an object between two given positions and orientations in a horizontal plane. Our ultimate goal is to understand the dynamics of human dual arm coordination in order to develop better robot control algorithms.

The first important observation is that the trajectories show a significant degree of repeatability across trials and across subjects. Secondly, we observe that the trajectories in the sagittal and frontal plane are characterized by asymmetric features that are hard to model using such integral cost functions. We propose a computational model based on the hypothesis proposed by Uno et al. [1] that suggests that human movements minimize the integral of the norm of the rate of change of actuator torques. We compare the experimental trajectories and force distributions with this computational model. We show that the internal forces play an important role in trajectory generation. While these are repeatable across trials, they vary significantly from subject to subject.



Date Posted: 30 May 2008