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Robotics 2016, 5(3), 17; doi:10.3390/robotics5030017

Estimation of Physical Human-Robot Interaction Using Cost-Effective Pneumatic Padding

1
Friedrich-Wilhelm-Bessel-Institute Research Company, Bremen 28359, Germany
2
Institute of Automation, University of Bremen, Bremen 28359, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gursel Alici
Received: 23 May 2016 / Revised: 5 August 2016 / Accepted: 8 August 2016 / Published: 16 August 2016
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Abstract

The idea to use a cost-effective pneumatic padding for sensing of physical interaction between a user and wearable rehabilitation robots is not new, but until now there has not been any practical relevant realization. In this paper, we present a novel method to estimate physical human-robot interaction using a pneumatic padding based on artificial neural networks (ANNs). This estimation can serve as rough indicator of applied forces/torques by the user and can be applied for visual feedback about the user’s participation or as additional information for interaction controllers. Unlike common mostly very expensive 6-axis force/torque sensors (FTS), the proposed sensor system can be easily integrated in the design of physical human-robot interfaces of rehabilitation robots and adapts itself to the shape of the individual patient’s extremity by pressure changing in pneumatic chambers, in order to provide a safe physical interaction with high user’s comfort. This paper describes a concept of using ANNs for estimation of interaction forces/torques based on pressure variations of eight customized air-pad chambers. The ANNs were trained one-time offline using signals of a high precision FTS which is also used as reference sensor for experimental validation. Experiments with three different subjects confirm the functionality of the concept and the estimation algorithm. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical human-robot interaction; soft-robotics; robot-assisted rehabilitation physical human-robot interaction; soft-robotics; robot-assisted rehabilitation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wilkening, A.; Puleva, N.; Ivlev, O. Estimation of Physical Human-Robot Interaction Using Cost-Effective Pneumatic Padding. Robotics 2016, 5, 17.

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