Departmental Papers (MEAM)

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Conference Paper

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Suggested Citation:
Kuchenbecker, Katherine J. and Gunter Niemeyer. (2006). Improving Telerobotic Touch Via High-Frequency Acceleration Matching. 2006 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. Orlando, Florida. May 2006.

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Humans rely on information-laden high-frequency accelerations in addition to quasi-static forces when interacting with objects via a handheld tool. Telerobotic systems have traditionally struggled to portray such contact transients due to closed-loop bandwidth and stability limitations, leaving remote objects feeling soft and undefined. This work seeks to maximize the user’s feel for the environment through the approach of acceleration matching; high-frequency fingertip accelerations are combined with standard low-frequency position feedback without requiring a secondary actuator on the master device. In this method, the natural dynamics of the master are identified offline using frequency-domain techniques, estimating the relationship between commanded motor current and handle acceleration while a user holds the device. During subsequent telerobotic interactions, a high-bandwidth sensor measures accelerations at the slave’s end effector, and the real-time controller re-creates these important signals at the master handle by inverting the identified model. The details of this approach are explored herein, and its ability to render hard and rough surfaces is demonstrated on a standard master-slave system. Combining high-frequency acceleration matching with position-error-based feedback of quasi-static forces creates a hybrid signal that closely corresponds to human sensing capabilities, instilling telerobotics with a more realistic sense of remote touch.



Date Posted: 18 August 2010

This document has been peer reviewed.