Note: this work was done by our friend and colleague Paul Michelman, who passed away unexpectedly on June 30, 2000.
Contact: Peter Allen<email@example.com>
In this type of ``manual control,'' the interface between the robot and the user primarily transfers data and performs coordinate transformations. We propose to increase the autonomy of the robot hand by shifting the control space from the joint positions to the space of the grasped object (see Michelman and Allen ). Rather than translate the motions of a master's fingers directly to motions of the robot hand, a simple, low degree-of-freedom input device, such as a joystick, controls the motions of the manipulated object directly. The motions of the manipulated object normally involve a single degree of freedom; they are two-dimensional translations and rotations. The system in turn computes the required finger trajectories to achieve the motion. The use of a low degree-of-freedom input device is appealing because it alleviates the problems cited above related to difficulty of calibration, the high input and sensor bandwidths required for full telemanipulation. In addition, increasing the autonomy of the robot allows it to perform tasks such as maintaining grasp forces and resisting external disturbances automatically. Low DOF input devices can include voice recognition systems, trackballs, Spaceballs (The Spaceball is a multi-function input device that senses forces and moments applied to it. It also has an array of software programmable buttons that can be assigned functions during a task.), myoelectric signals, and other devices used in industry and rehabilitation. The basis of the object-centered teleoperation system is set of primitive manipulations described above.