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Impedance mismatch: some differences between the way humans and robots control interaction forces

Harwin, W.S. (2009) Impedance mismatch: some differences between the way humans and robots control interaction forces. In: IEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR 2009), Kyoto, Japan, .

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1109/ICORR.2009.5209464


In over forty years of research robots have made very little progress still largely confined to industrial manufacture and cute toys, yet in the same period computing has followed Moores Law where the capacity double roughly every two years. So why is there no Moores Law for robots? Two areas stand out as worthy of research to speedup progress. The first is to get a greater understanding of how human and animal brains control movement, the second to build a new generation of robots that have greater haptic sense, that is a better ability to adapt to the environment as it is encountered. A remarkable property of the cognitive-motor system in humans and animals is that it is slow. Recognising an object may take 250 mS, a reaction time of 150 mS is considered fast. Yet despite this slow system we are well designed to allow contact with the world in a variety of ways. We can anticipate an encounter, use the change of force as a means of communication and ignore sensory cues when they are not relevant. A better understanding of these process has allowed us to build haptic interfaces to mimic the interaction. Emerging from this understanding are new ways to control the contact between robots, the user and the environment. Rehabilitation robotics has all the elements in the subject to not only enable and change the lives of people with disabilities, but also to facilitate revolution change in classic robotics.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Department of Bio-Engineering
ID Code:14703
Uncontrolled Keywords:force control, haptic interfaces, human-robot interaction, medical robotics, patient rehabilitation, sensors , Moores Law, cognitive-motor system, haptic interfaces, haptic sense, impedance mismatch, rehabilitation robotics, robots

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