Analysis of Human grip strength in physical Human Robot Interaction

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings - Analysis of Human grip strength in physical Human Robot Interaction, 2015
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The purpose of this paper is to explore how an operator’s grip plays a role in physical Human Robot Interaction (pHRI). By considering how the operator reacts to or initiates changes in control, it is possible to study the operator’s grip pattern. By analyzing the grip pattern, it is possible to incorporate their natural response in order to create safer and more intuitive interfaces. An experiment where an exoskeleton and human collaborate in order to complete a path following task has been chosen to observe the forces applied by the user at the handle to determine the interaction between the operator and robot. A ThruMode Matrix Array sensor has been wrapped around the robot’s handle to measure the applied pressure. By introducing the sensor it not only enables the measurement of the applied forces and how they are applied but also a measure of how tight the user is gripping the handle. Previous studies show that the natural response of a human to an unexpected event is to tighten their grip, indicating that how an operator grasps the handle can be related to the operator’s intention. In order to investigate how the operator’s grip of the handle changes, the experiments presented in this paper examine two different scenarios which might occur during an interaction, the first where the robot attempts to deviate from the path and the second where the operator wishes to deviate to a new path. The results of the experiments show that whether the operator or the robot initiates the transition, a measurable change in how the operator grasps the handle. The information in this paper can lead to new applications in pHRI by exploring the possible uses of an operator’s grasping strength.
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