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Stable and Intuitive Control of an Intelligent Assist Device
Second 2012 (vol. 5 no. 2)
pp. 148-159
Dalong Gao, Manuf. Syst. Res. Lab., GM R&D, Warren, MI, USA
Boris Mayer St.-Onge, Dept. of Mech. Eng., Univ. Laval, Quebec City, QC, Canada
V. Duchaine, Dept. of Automated Manuf., Ecole de Technol. Super., Montreal, QC, Canada
C. Gosselin, Dept. of Mech. Eng., Univ. Laval, Quebec City, QC, Canada
Safety and dependability are of the utmost importance for physical human-robot interaction due to the potential risks that a relatively powerful robot poses to human beings. From the control standpoint, it is possible to improve safety by guaranteeing that the robot will never exhibit any unstable behavior. However, stability is not the only concern in the design of a controller for such a robot. During human-robot interaction, the resulting cooperative motion should be truly intuitive and should not restrict in any way the human performance. For this purpose, we have designed a new variable admittance control law that guarantees the stability of the robot during constrained motion and also provides a very intuitive human interaction. The former characteristic is provided by the design of a stability observer while the latter is based on a variable admittance control scheme that uses the time derivative of the contact force to assess human intentions. The stability observer is based on a previously published stability investigation of cooperative motion which implies the knowledge of the interaction stiffness. A method to accurately estimate this stiffness online using the data coming from the encoder and from a multiaxis force sensor at the end effector is also provided. The stability and intuitivity of the control law are verified in a user study involving a cooperative drawing task with a 3 degree-of-freedom (dof) parallel robot as well as in experiments performed with a prototype of an industrial Intelligent Assist Device.

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Index Terms:
stability,human-robot interaction,stability observer,stable control,intuitive control,intelligent assist device,human robot interaction,cooperative motion,variable admittance control,constrained motion,Humans,Damping,Robots,Stability analysis,Admittance,Force,Estimation,haptics.,Physical human-robot interaction,intelligent assist device,admittance control
Dalong Gao, Boris Mayer St.-Onge, V. Duchaine, C. Gosselin, "Stable and Intuitive Control of an Intelligent Assist Device," IEEE Transactions on Haptics, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 148-159, Second 2012, doi:10.1109/TOH.2011.49
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