Nursing Robot Teleoperation via Motion Mapping Interfaces Public
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Tele-nursing robots have great potential to support remote healthcare in contagious disease treatment, infection control and to provide in-home assistance to the elderly and disabled. Teleoperation interfaces must be intuitive and ergonomic, with low physical and cognitive workload to ensure an effective nurse-robot collaboration. Utilizing the motion-capture capabilities of a Virtual Reality (VR) system's handheld controllers provides a relatively cheap and intuitive means of controlling a robot. It can capture the human motion without the need for the expensive equipment a traditional motion capture system requires. Grasping and manipulating objects causes the most physical fatigue in the operator while teleoperating. The VR interface was thus designed to improve the user's ability to grasp and manipulate objects by improvising the motion mapping from the handheld VR controllers to the robot end-effectors. A pilot user-study (N=2) was conducted to compare the usability and performance of the VR interface with the Vicon motion capture interface developed for the TRINA, a mobile humanoid nursing robot. The results show a trend where the VR interface is faster in completing the tasks than the Vicon interface. A survey of the teleoperators also suggest that the users preferred the VR interface for teleoperating the TRINA robot. Motion mapping while great as an interface for large motions and free form teleoperation, suffers from lack of precision. The joystick which can generate small and discrete motion commands is capable of handling precise operations. VR controllers combines the intuitiveness of motion tracking and precision of the joystick through its own motion tracking capabilities and trackpad features, respectively. A variation of the VR interface with the trackpad controlling the end-effector motion of the Jaco arm was created. A pilot user-study (N=2) was conducted to compare a gamepad interface, the VR interface without trackpad functionality and the VR interface with trackpad functionality. The operators teleoperate a Kinova Gen3 Jaco arm using all the three interfaces. The results suggest that the VR interface with the trackpad feature performs fastest for operations involving fine manipulation and the VR interface without the trackpad feature performs fastest for operations involving free form teleoperation. The user survey also favors the use of the VR interface to control the Jaco arm.
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