Factors Affecting the Sensitivity to Small Interaction Forces in Humans
Effective physical human-robot interaction (pHRI) depends on how humans can communicate their intentions for movement with others. While it is speculated that small interaction forces contain significant information to convey the specific movement intention of physical human-human interaction (pHHI), the underlying mechanism for humans to infer intention from such small forces is largely unknown. The hypothesis in this work is that the sensitivity to a small interaction force applied at the hand is affected by the movement of the arm that is affected by the arm stiffness. For this, a haptic robot was used to provide the endpoint interaction forces to the arm of seated human participants. They were asked to determine one of the four directions of the applied robot interaction force without visual feedback. Variations of levels of interaction force as well as arm muscle contraction were applied. The results imply that human’s ability to identify and respond to the correct direction of small interaction forces was lower when the alignment of human arm movement with respect to the force direction was higher. In addition, the sensitivity to the direction of the small interaction force was high when the arm stiffness was low. It is also speculated that humans lower their arm stiffness to be more sensitive to smaller interaction forces. These results will help develop human-like pHRI systems for various applications.
Rashid, F., Burns, D. M., & Song, Y. S. (2021). Factors Affecting the Sensitivity to Small Interaction Forces in Humans. Proceedings of the 43rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society (2021, Mexico) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1109/EMBC46164.2021.9629751
43rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society, EMBC 2021 (2021: Nov. 1-5, Mexico)
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
Hand; Humans; Intention; Mechanical Phenomena; Movement; Muscle Contraction
International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Conference proceedings
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05 Nov 2021