Publikation

Adapt or Perish? Exploring the Effectiveness of Adaptive DoF Control Interaction Methods for Assistive Robot Arms

Kirill Kronhardt, Stephan Rübner, Max Pascher, Felix Goldau, Udo Frese, Jens Gerken

In: Fillia Makedon (Hrsg.). technologies 10 1 MDPI 2022.

Zusammenfassung

Robot arms are one of many assistive technologies used by people with motor impairments. Assistive robot arms can allow people to perform activities of daily living (ADL) involving grasping and manipulating objects in their environment without the assistance of caregivers. Suitable input devices (e.g., joysticks) mostly have two Degrees of Freedom (DoF), while most assistive robot arms have six or more. This results in time-consuming and cognitively demanding mode switches to change the mapping of DoFs to control the robot. One option to decrease the difficulty of controlling a high-DoF assistive robot arm using a low-DoF input device is to assign different combinations of movement-DoFs to the device’s input DoFs depending on the current situation (adaptive control). To explore this method of control, we designed two adaptive control methods for a realistic virtual 3D environment. We evaluated our methods against a commonly used non-adaptive control method that requires the user to switch controls manually. This was conducted in a simulated remote study that used Virtual Reality and involved 39 non-disabled participants. Our results show that the number of mode switches necessary to complete a simple pick-and-place task decreases significantly when using an adaptive control type. In contrast, the task completion time and workload stay the same. A thematic analysis of qualitative feedback of our participants suggests that a longer period of training could further improve the performance of adaptive control methods.

Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence