A seminar by Frank Hammond, of the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
The field of human augmentation has become an increasingly popular research area as capabilities in human-machine interfacing and robot manufacturing evolve. Novel technologies in wearable sensors and 3D printing have enabled the development of more sophisticated augmentation devices, including teleoperated robotic surgery platforms and powered prostheses, with greater speed and economy.
Despite these advances, the efficacy and adoption of human augmentation devices has been limited due to several factors including (1) lack of continuous control and dexterity in robotic end-effectors, (2) limited motion/force coordination and adaptation between robotic devices and humans, and (3) the absence of rich sensory feedback from the robotic devices to the human user.
My research leverages techniques in soft machine fabrication, adaptive manipulation, and mechanism design to arrive at human augmentation solutions which address these issues from a methodological perspective.
This talk will highlight aspects of our design methodology including the experimental characterization of human manipulation capabilities, the design of mechanisms of control strategies for improved human-robot cooperation, and new efforts to enable virtual proprioception – a capability which could allow humans to perceive and control robotic augmentation devices as if they were parts of their own bodies.