Masters Theses


Fazlur Rashid

Keywords and Phrases

Human arm; Physical human-robot interaction; Sensitivity; Small interaction force


“Understanding the human motor control strategy during physical interaction tasks is crucial for developing future robots for physical human-robot interaction (pHRI). Effective pHRI depends on humans communicating their intentions for movement with robots. In physical human-human interaction (pHHI), small interaction forces are known to convey their intent between the partners. It is speculated that small interaction forces contain significant information to convey the movement intention of pHHI. However, the mechanism underlying this interaction strategy is largely unknown. Hence, the aim of this work was to investigate what affects humans’ sensitivity to the interaction forces. The hypothesis was that small interaction forces are sensed through the movement of the arm and result in proprioceptive signals. A pHRI setup was used to provide small interaction forces to the seated participants’ hands, and the participants were asked to identify the direction of the push while blindfolded. The result showed that participants’ abilities to correctly report the direction of the small interaction force were lower with low interaction force and a high level of muscle contraction. In particular, the sensitivity to the interaction force direction increased with the radial displacement of the participant’s hand from the initial position and when the misalignment of human arm movement with respect to the force direction was lower. The estimated stiffness of the arm varied with the level of muscle contraction and robot interaction force. These results suggested that humans’ may benefit from a lower arm stiffness to detect small interaction forces. The outcomes of this work will help future researchers tailor the development of robotic systems for effective pHRI”--Abstract, page iv.


Song, Yun Seong

Committee Member(s)

Bristow, Douglas A.
Burns, Devin Michael


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering


This work is supported by the National Science Foundation #1843892.


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Summer 2021

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Human Arm Sensitivity to Small Interaction Forces Depends on the Displacement of the Arm
  • Factors Affecting the Sensitivity to Small Interaction Forces in Humans


xii, 85 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references.


© 2021 Fazlur Rashid, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11918

Electronic OCLC #