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Journal Articles IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters Year : 2022

Dynamic Primitives Limit Human Force Regulation during Motion


Humans excel at physical interaction despite long feedback delays and low-bandwidth actuators. Yet little is known about how humans manage physical interaction. A quantitative understanding of how they do is critical for designing machines that can safely and effectively interact with humans, e.g. amputation prostheses, assistive exoskeletons, therapeutic rehabilitation robots, and physical human-robot collaboration. To facilitate applications, this understanding should be in the form of a simple mathematical model that not only describes humans' capabilities but also their limitations. In robotics, hybrid control allows simultaneous, independent control of both motion and force and it is often assumed that humans can modulate force independent of motion as well. This paper experimentally tested that assumption. Participants were asked to apply a constant 5N force on a robot manipulandum that moved along an elliptical path. After initial improvement, force errors quickly plateaued, despite practice and visual feedback. Within-trial analyses revealed that force errors varied with position on the ellipse, rejecting the hypothesis that humans have independent control of force and motion. The findings are consistent with a feed-forward motion command composed of two primitive oscillations acting through mechanical impedance to evoke force.
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Dates and versions

hal-03542913 , version 1 (25-01-2022)



A Michael West, James Hermus, Meghan Huber, Pauline Maurice, Dagmar Sternad, et al.. Dynamic Primitives Limit Human Force Regulation during Motion. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 2022, 7 (2), pp.2391 - 2398. ⟨10.1109/LRA.2022.3141778⟩. ⟨hal-03542913⟩
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