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IEEE Trans Haptics. 2017 Jan-Mar;10(1):40-53. doi: 10.1109/TOH.2016.2573301. Epub 2016 May 26.

Effects of Grip-Force, Contact, and Acceleration Feedback on a Teleoperated Pick-and-Place Task.


The multifaceted human sense of touch is fundamental to direct manipulation, but technical challenges prevent most teleoperation systems from providing even a single modality of haptic feedback, such as force feedback. This paper postulates that ungrounded grip-force, fingertip-contact-and-pressure, and high-frequency acceleration haptic feedback will improve human performance of a teleoperated pick-and-place task. Thirty subjects used a teleoperation system consisting of a haptic device worn on the subject's right hand, a remote PR2 humanoid robot, and a Vicon motion capture system to move an object to a target location. Each subject completed the pick-and-place task 10 times under each of the eight haptic conditions obtained by turning on and off grip-force feedback, contact feedback, and acceleration feedback. To understand how object stiffness affects the utility of the feedback, half of the subjects completed the task with a flexible plastic cup, and the others used a rigid plastic block. The results indicate that the addition of grip-force feedback with gain switching enables subjects to hold both the flexible and rigid objects more stably, and it also allowed subjects who manipulated the rigid block to hold the object more delicately and to better control the motion of the remote robot's hand. Contact feedback improved the ability of subjects who manipulated the flexible cup to move the robot's arm in space, but it deteriorated this ability for subjects who manipulated the rigid block. Contact feedback also caused subjects to hold the flexible cup less stably, but the rigid block more securely. Finally, adding acceleration feedback slightly improved the subject's performance when setting the object down, as originally hypothesized; interestingly, it also allowed subjects to feel vibrations produced by the robot's motion, causing them to be more careful when completing the task. This study supports the utility of grip-force and high-frequency acceleration feedback in teleoperation systems and motivates further improvements to fingertip-contact-and-pressure feedback.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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