H-Man: A Planar, H-shape Cabled Differential Robotic Manipulandum for Experiments on Human Motor Control
Hughes, Charmayne Mary Lee
Date of Issue2014-07-21
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
In the last decades more robotic manipulanda have been employed to investigate the effect of haptic environments on motor learning and rehabilitation. However, implementing complex haptic renderings can be challenging from technological and control perspectives. We propose a novel robot (H-Man) characterized by a mechanical design based on cabled differential transmission providing advantages over current robotic technology. The H-Man transmission translates to extremely simplified kinematics and homogenous dynamic properties, offering the possibility to generate haptic channels by passively blocking the mechanics, and eliminating stability concerns. We report results of experiments characterizing the performance of the device (haptic bandwidth, Z-width, and perceived impedance). We also present the results of a study investigating the influence of haptic channel compliance on motor learning in healthy individuals, which highlights the effects of channel compliance in enhancing proprioceptive information. The generation of haptic channels to study motor redundancy is not easy for actual robots because of the needs of powerful actuation and complex real-time control implementation. The mechanical design of H-Man affords the possibility to promptly create haptic channels by mechanical stoppers (on one of the motors) without compromising the superior backdriveability and high isotropic manipulability. This paper presents a novel robotic device for motor control studies and robotic rehabilitation. The hardware was designed with specific emphasis on the mechanics that result in a system that is easy to control, homogeneous, and is intrinsically safe for use.
Human motor control
Human motor control
Journal of Neuroscience Methods
© 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Elsevier B.V. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneumeth.2014.07.003].