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S. Fani et al., "Simplifying Telerobotics: Wearability and Teleimpedance Improves Human-Robot Interactions in Teleoperation," in IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 77-88, March 2018. doi: 10.1109/MRA.2017.2741579

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Abstract: In recent years, wearability has become a new fundamental requirement for an effective and lightweight design of human–robot interfaces. Among the different application fields, robotic teleoperation represents the ideal scenario that can largely benefit from wearability to reduce constraints to the human workspace (acting as a master) and enable an intuitive and simplified information exchange within the teleoperator system. This effective simplification is particularly important if we consider the interaction with synergy-inspired robotic devices, i.e., those that are endowed with a reduced number of control inputs and sensors, with the goal of simplifying control and communication among humans and robots. In this article, we present an integrated approach for augmented teleoperation where wearable hand/arm pose undersensing and haptic feedback devices are combined with teleimpedance (TI) techniques for the simplified yet effective position and stiffness control of a synergy-inspired robotic manipulator in real time. The slave robot consists of a KUKA lightweight robotic arm equipped with the Pisa/IIT SoftHand, both controlled in impedance to perform a drilling task—an illustrative example of a dynamic task with environmental constraints. The experimental results from ten healthy subjects suggest that the proposed integrated interface enables the master to appropriately regulate the stiffness and pose of the robotic hand–arm system through the perception of interaction forces and vision, contributing to successful and intuitive executions of the remote task. The achieved performance is presented in comparison to the reduced versions of the integrated system, in which either TI control or wearable feedback is excluded.

Keywords: Robot sensing systems, Force feedback, Manipulators, Task analysis,Kinematics, Telemedicine, Autonomous robots

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