Thesis defence J. van Oosterhout: haptic assistance

01 May 2018 15:00 - Location: Aula, TU Delft - By: webredactie

Co-operation and Haptic Assistance for Tele-manipulated Control over Two Asymmetric Slaves. Promotor 1: D.A. Abbink (3mE); Promotor 2: Prof.dr. F.C.T. van der Helm (3mE); Promotor 3: Prof.dr. M.R. Baar (TU Eindhoven).

Normally we perform maintenance and repair manually. In some cases, this is not possible because, for example, the location is in the deep sea (for oil drilling) or nuclear contaminated (a fusion powerplant). Then we use a tele-manipulator. Here, an operator operates a special master robot to move a slave robot in the task environment. The robot cannot move any weight. Heavy loads are lifted by a crane, but still require accurate placement by the robot, in other words: co-operation with two asymmetrical slaves. Operators of these systems are strictly selected and highly trained, nevertheless working with these two systems requires 23 times longer than manual handling. That must be improved. Therefore, this study investigated the impact of interface design choices and haptic assistance to facilitate action coordination between the asymmetric slaves.

Alternatives for the interface between the operator and the slaves could be categorized in two options: two cooperating operators; or one individual operator. Regardless of the performance via a certain interface, operators could use some assistance in communication and task execution. It is known that haptic assistance can effectively support an individual operator via forces on the interface. However, to coordinate information between two slaves, and to share that with the operator(s), a novel haptic assistance controller had to be designed.

After several human factors studies, it can be concluded that two cooperating operators control the two asymmetric slaves better than one individual operator. Furthermore, the novel haptic assistance improves task performance for both interface designs. Interestingly, the observed favour for the co-operated with respect to individual operators is not found when both are haptically assisted.

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For access to theses by the PhD students you can have a look in TU Delft Repository, the digital storage of publications of TU Delft. Theses will be available within a few weeks after the actual thesis defence.