Research ArticleHUMAN-ROBOT INTERACTION

Shared control–based bimanual robot manipulation

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Science Robotics  29 May 2019:
Vol. 4, Issue 30, eaaw0955
DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aaw0955
  • Fig. 1 A shared-control method for effective bimanual robot manipulation.

    (A) We constructed a motion dataset of people performing two-handed tasks and (B) extracted high-level kinematic patterns from the data to build a compact and lightweight bimanual action vocabulary that sufficiently spans the space of two-handed actions. (C) While the user is controlling the robot, (D) the method infers which action from the bimanual action vocabulary is most likely being specified by the user and (E) engages an appropriate assistance mode (F) to help during the respective bimanual action.

  • Fig. 2 Kinematic pattern analyses.

    (A) Scree plot from our kinematic pattern analysis using PCA. The inflection point indicates that seven principal components cover much of the variance in the bimanual action space. (B) First seven principal components (displayed as colored lines in the graphs) shown over 80 time steps for each of our six kinematic features (hand offset, hand offset velocity, etc.). (C) Illustration of how the third principal component [the red lines in (B)] connects to the self-handover bimanual action. The dotted lines point to particular landmarks over the different kinematic features that characterize the self-handover action. (D) Seven principal components are grouped into four high-level “words” in our bimanual action vocabulary: fixed offset, one hand fixed, self-handover, and one hand seeking.

  • Fig. 3 Tukey boxplots overlaid on data points from objective and subjective measures, displaying results from study 1.

    Error bars designate the SEM. This study used a sample size of 24 participants (n = 24), and P values are indicated by the asterisk (*) and dagger (†) symbols.

  • Fig. 4 Tukey boxplots overlaid on data points from objective and subjective measures, displaying results from study 2.

    Error bars designate the SEM. This study used a sample size of 24 participants (N = 24), and P values are indicated by the * and † symbols.

  • Fig. 5 A novice user executing various subtasks from study 1.

    The subtasks in study 1 followed a breakfast-making theme, matching our motivated use case of our bimanual shared-control method being used in remote home-care or telenursing scenarios.

  • Table 1 Subjective scale measures and Cronbach’s alpha values.

    Predictability (α = 0.73)(1) The robot consistently moved in a way that I expected.
    (2) The robot’s motion was not surprising.
    (3) The robot responded to my motion inputs in a predictable way.
    Fluency (α = 0.64)(1) The robot and I worked fluently together as a team.
    (2) The robot contributed to the fluency of the interaction.
    Trust (α = 0.64)(1) I trusted the robot to do the right thing at the right time.
    (2) The robot was trustworthy.
    Goal perception (α = 0.76)(1) The robot perceives accurately what my goals are.
    (2) The robot does not understand what I am trying to accomplish.
    (3) The robot and I are working toward mutually agreed upon goals.
    Usefulness (α = 0.75)(1) It helps me be more effective.
    (2) It is useful.
    (3) It makes the things I want to accomplish easier to get done.
    Robot intelligence (α = 0.74)(1) The robot was intelligent.
    (2) The robot was able to independently make decisions throughout the task.
    (3) The robot had an understanding of the task.
    (4) The robot had an understanding of my goal during the task.
    Satisfaction (α = 0.86)(1) I am satisfied with it.
    (2) I would recommend it to a friend.
    (3) It is fun to use.
    (4) It works the way I wanted it to work.
    (5) It is wonderful.
    Ease of use (α = 0.87)(1) It is easy to use.
    (2) It is simple to use.
    (3) It is user friendly.
    (4) It is flexible.
    (5) It is effortless.
    (6) I can use it without written instructions.
    (7) I do not notice any inconsistencies as I use it.
    (8) Both occasional and regular users would like it.
    (9) I can recover from mistakes quickly and easily.
    (10) I can use it successfully every time.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    The PDF file includes:

    • Text
    • Fig. S1. Motion dataset study.
    • Fig. S2. Notation for technical details.

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    Other Supplementary Material for this manuscript includes the following:

    • Movie S1 (.mp4 format). Shared control–based bimanual robot manipulation.

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