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It is well-known that a human musculo-skeletal body is redundant in terms of both kinematics and dynamics. The former means that the degree of freedom in joint space is larger than that in task space, and the latter means that a joint is driven by a number of muscles. All human skillful movements can be performed by using both redundancies. However, these redundancies induce the underlying ill-posedness problem that each joint angle and muscle’s output forces cannot be uniquely determined. These ill-posedness problems are known as “Bernstein’s problem” and are important to understand how human multi-joint movements are produced. In this study, we address the latter redundancy problem on how muscle’s output forces can be determined from the viewpoint of robotics. In this paper, we consider a reaching movement by means of a two-link planar arm with six muscles and show that both damping and elastic properties coming from nonlinear dynamics of the muscles play a crucial role. By using a simple task space feedback control input together with an additional term to control the internal force to regulate damping and elasticity in joint space, we show some simulation results which exhibit human-like quasi-straight line movement.
Date of Conference: 18-22 April 2005