ieee_roman_VR_study_final.pdf (1.47 MB)

Hands-Free Physical Human-Robot Interaction and Testing for Navigating a Virtual Ballbot

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posted on 2023-04-25, 17:21 authored by Seung Yun SongSeung Yun Song, Nadja MarinNadja Marin, Chenzhang Xiao, Ryu Okubo, Joao Ramos, Elizabeth Hsiao-WeckslerElizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler

This is a submitted (IEEE RO-MAN 2023) draft of a paper on the testing of a hands-free human-robot interaction for navigating a ballbot in a virtual environment. In this study, able-bodied users and manual wheelchair users controlled a virtual ballbot using a hands-free (HF) lean-to-steer control concept that uses torso motions. A custom sensor system (i.e., Torso-dynamics Estimation System (TES)) was utilized to measure and convert the dynamics of the rider’s torso motions into commands to provide HF control of the robot. A simulation study was conducted to explore the efficacy of the HF controller compared to a traditional joystick (JS) controller, and whether there were differences in performance by manual wheelchair users (mWCUs), who may have reduced torso function, compared to able-bodied users (ABUs). Twenty test subjects (10 mWCUs + 10 ABUs) used the subject-specific adjusted TES while wearing a virtual reality headset and were asked to navigate a virtual human rider on the ballbot through obstacle courses replicating seven indoor environment zones. 


National Science Foundation National Robotics Initiative #2024905


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Submitting Author's Institution

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Submitting Author's Country

  • United States of America