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Robotics, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 3 • Date June 2013

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  • Table of contents

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): C1
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  • IEEE Transactions on Robotics publication information

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): C2
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  • Stable Walking Gaits for a Three-Link Planar Biped Robot With One Actuator

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 589 - 601
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1613 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We consider a benchmark example of a three-link planar biped walker with torso, which is actuated in between the legs. The torso is thought to be kept upright by two identical torsional springs. The mathematical model reflects a three-degree-of-freedom mechanical system with impulse effects, which describe the impacts of the swing leg with the ground, and the aim is to induce stable limit-cycle walking on level ground. The main contribution is a novel systematic trajectory planning procedure for solving the problem of gait synthesis. The key idea is to find a system of ordinary differential equations for the functions describing a synchronization pattern for the time evolution of the generalized coordinates along a periodic motion. These functions, which are known as virtual holonomic constraints, are also used to compute an impulsive linear system that approximates the time evolution of the subset of coordinates that are transverse to the orbit of the continuous part of the periodic solution. This auxiliary system, which is known as transverse linearization, is used to design a nonlinear exponentially orbitally stabilizing feedback controller. The performance of the closed-loop system and its robustness with respect to various perturbations and uncertainties are illustrated via numerical simulations. View full abstract»

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  • MSU Jumper: A Single-Motor-Actuated Miniature Steerable Jumping Robot

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 602 - 614
    Cited by:  Papers (5)
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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2448 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The ability to jump is found widely among small animals such as frogs, grasshoppers, and fleas. They jump to overcome large obstacles relative to their small sizes. Inspired by the animals' jumping capability, a miniature jumping robot-Michigan State University (MSU) Jumper-has been developed. In this paper, the mechanical design, fabrication, and experimentation of the MSU jumper are presented. The robot can achieve the following three performances simultaneously, which distinguish it from the other existing jumping robots. First, it can perform continuous steerable jumping that is based on the self-righting and the steering capabilities. Second, the robot only requires a single actuator to perform all the functions. Third, the robot has a light weight (23.5 g) to reduce the damage that results from the impact of landing. Experimental results show that, with a 75° take-off angle, the robot can jump up to 87 cm in vertical height and 90 cm in horizontal distance. The robot has a wide range of applications such as sensor/communication networks, search and rescue, surveillance, and environmental monitoring. View full abstract»

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  • Geometric Swimming at Low and High Reynolds Numbers

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 615 - 624
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    Several efforts have recently been made to relate the displacement of swimming three-link systems over strokes to geometric quantities of the strokes. In doing so, they provide powerful, intuitive representations of the bounds on a system's locomotion capabilities and the forms of its optimal strokes or gaits. While this approach has been successful for finding net rotations, noncommutativity concerns have prevented it from working for net translations. Our recent results on other locomoting systems have shown that the degree of this noncommutativity is dependent on the coordinates used to describe the problem and that it can be greatly mitigated by an optimal choice of coordinates. Here, we extend the benefits of this optimal-coordinate approach to the analysis of swimming at the extremes of low and high Reynolds numbers. View full abstract»

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  • PDE Boundary Control for Flexible Articulated Wings on a Robotic Aircraft

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 625 - 640
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1061 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents a boundary control formulation for distributed parameter systems described by partial differential equations (PDEs) and whose output is given by a spatial integral of weighted functions of the state. This formulation is directly applicable to the control of small robotic aircraft with articulated flexible wings, where the output of interest is the net aerodynamic force or moment. The deformation of flexible wings can be controlled by actuators that are located at the root or the tip of the wing. The problem of designing a tracking controller for wing twist is addressed using a combination of PDE backstepping for feedback stabilization and feed-forward trajectory planning. We also design an adaptive tracking controller for wing tip actuators. For wing bending, we present a novel control scheme that is based on a two-stage perturbation observer. A trajectory planning-based feed-forward tracker is designed using only one component of the observer whose dynamics are homogeneous and amenable to trajectory planning. The two components, put together, estimate the external forces and unmodeled system dynamics. The effectiveness of the proposed controllers for twist and bending is demonstrated by simulations. This paper also reports experimental validation of the perturbation-observer-based controller for beam bending. View full abstract»

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  • A Microfabricated Planar Digital Microrobot for Precise Positioning Based on Bistable Modules

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 641 - 649
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (877 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Size reduction is a constant objective in new technologies for which very accurate devices are needed when manipulating submillimetric objects. A new kind of microfabricated microrobot based on the use of bistable modules is designed to perform open-loop controlled micropositioning tasks. The DiMiBot (a specific digital microrobot) opens a new paradigm in the design of microrobots by using mechanical stability instead of complex control strategies. We propose a new architecture of digital microrobot for which forward and inverse kinematics models are easy to use. These kinematic models are validated with finite-element-analysis simulations before the fabrication of a real DiMiBot prototype. Tests and characterization of the prototype are made and compared with the desired behavior. Thanks to its submicrometric resolution and to its small dimensions (~ 400-μm thickness), it is able to manipulate microobjects in confined environments, where no other robot can be used. View full abstract»

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  • Design, Analysis, and Test of a Novel 2-DOF Nanopositioning System Driven by Dual Mode

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 650 - 662
    Cited by:  Papers (12)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1519 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Piezodriven flexure-based motion stages, with a large workspace and high positioning precision, are really attractive for the realization of high-performance atomic force microscope (AFM) scanning. In this paper, a modified lever displacement amplifier is proposed for the mechanism design of a novel compliant two-degree-of-freedom (2-DOF) nanopositioning stage, which can be selected to drive in dual modes. Besides, the modified double four-bar parallelogram, P (P denotes prismatic) joints are adopted in designing the flexure limbs. The established models for the mechanical performance evaluation of the stage, in terms of kinetostatics, dynamics, and workspace, are validated by the finite-element analysis. After a series of dimension optimizations carried out through the particle swarm optimization algorithm, a novel active disturbance rejection controller, including the nonlinearity tracking differentiator, the extended state observer, and the nonlinear state error feedback, is proposed to automatically estimate and suppress plant uncertainties arising from the hysteresis nonlinearity, creep effect, sensor noises, and unknown disturbances. The simulation and prototype test results indicate that the first natural frequency of the proposed stage is approximated to be 831 Hz, the amplification ratio in two axes is about 4.2, and the workspace is 119.7 μm × 121.4 μm, while the cross coupling between the two axes is kept within 2%. All the results prove that the developed stage possesses a good property for high-performance AFM scanning. View full abstract»

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  • Adaptive Discrete-Time Sliding Mode Impedance Control of a Piezoelectric Microgripper

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 663 - 673
    Cited by:  Papers (8)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (933 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Delicate interaction control is a crucial issue for automated microsystems dedicated to microobjects handling. This paper proposes a new approach to regulate both position and contact force of a piezoelectric-bimorph microgripper for micromanipulation and microassembly applications. The methodology is developed based on the framework of a discrete-time sliding mode generalized impedance control with adaptive switching gain. One unique feature lies in its easy implementation based on a second-order dynamic model, whereas neither a state observer nor a hysteresis/creep model of the system is required. The stability of the control system is proved in theory, which ensures the tracking performance in the presence of model uncertainties and disturbances. The effectiveness of the scheme is validated by experimental investigations on grasp operation of a microgear. Results show that the approach is capable of accomplishing precision position/force control simultaneously. Moreover, the influences of control gains and target impedance parameters on the tracking performance are addressed, and the achievement of balance between the position and force control accuracy is discussed. View full abstract»

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  • Vision-Based Control of a Handheld Surgical Micromanipulator With Virtual Fixtures

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 674 - 683
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1098 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Performing micromanipulation and delicate operations in submillimeter workspaces is difficult because of destabilizing tremor and imprecise targeting. Accurate micromanipulation is especially important for microsurgical procedures, such as vitreoretinal surgery, to maximize successful outcomes and minimize collateral damage. Robotic aid combined with filtering techniques that suppress tremor frequency bands increases performance; however, if knowledge of the operator's goals is available, virtual fixtures have been shown to further improve performance. In this paper, we derive a virtual fixture framework for active handheld micromanipulators that is based on high-bandwidth position measurements rather than forces applied to a robot handle. For applicability in surgical environments, the fixtures are generated in real time from microscope video during the procedure. Additionally, we develop motion scaling behavior around virtual fixtures as a simple and direct extension to the proposed framework. We demonstrate that virtual fixtures significantly outperform tremor cancellation algorithms on a set of synthetic tracing tasks (p <; 0.05). In more medically relevant experiments of vein tracing and membrane peeling in eye phantoms, virtual fixtures can significantly reduce both positioning error and forces applied to tissue (p <; 0.05). View full abstract»

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  • A Framework for Unconditional Stability Analysis of Multimaster/Multislave Teleoperation Systems

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 684 - 694
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1584 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A novel robust stability analysis framework is presented for unconditional stability analysis of multimaster/multislave teleoperation systems. Unlike the unconditional stability criterion for single-user systems, the newly proposed criteria for unconditional stability of multimaster/multislave teleoperation systems depend on the multiport network parameters and the port terminations. In addition to the analytical solution, the graphical demonstration of the unconditional stability region facilitates the analysis of coupled stability against variations in the dynamics of the environments and operators, even when they behave actively. The proposed robust stability analysis framework is examined on two multilateral shared control architectures that were previously developed for dual-user teleoperation systems. View full abstract»

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  • Less Is More: Mixed-Initiative Model-Predictive Control With Human Inputs

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 695 - 703
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (644 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents a new method for injecting human inputs into mixed-initiative interactions between humans and robots. The method is based on a model-predictive control (MPC) formulation, which inevitably involves predicting the system (robot dynamics as well as human input) into the future. These predictions are complicated by the fact that the human is interacting with the robot, causing the prediction method itself to have an effect on future human inputs. We investigate and develop different prediction schemes, including fixed and variable horizon MPCs and human input estimators of different orders. Through a search-and-rescue-inspired human operator study, we arrive at the conclusion that the simplest prediction methods outperform the more complex ones, i.e., in this particular case, less is indeed more. View full abstract»

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  • The Motion Grammar: Analysis of a Linguistic Method for Robot Control

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 704 - 718
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (5004 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    We present the Motion Grammar: an approach to represent and verify robot control policies based on context-free grammars. The production rules of the grammar represent a top-down task decomposition of robot behavior. The terminal symbols of this language represent sensor readings that are parsed in real time. Efficient algorithms for context-free parsing guarantee that online parsing is computationally tractable. We analyze verification properties and language constraints of this linguistic modeling approach, show a linguistic basis that unifies several existing methods, and demonstrate effectiveness through experiments on a 14-degree-of-freedom (DOF) manipulator interacting with 32 objects (chess pieces) and an unpredictable human adversary. We provide many of the algorithms discussed as Open Source, permissively licensed software. View full abstract»

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  • Real-Time Visual SLAM for Autonomous Underwater Hull Inspection Using Visual Saliency

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 719 - 733
    Cited by:  Papers (8)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1691 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper reports a real-time monocular visual simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) algorithm and results for its application in the area of autonomous underwater ship hull inspection. The proposed algorithm overcomes some of the specific challenges associated with underwater visual SLAM, namely, limited field of view imagery and feature-poor regions. It does so by exploiting our SLAM navigation prior within the image registration pipeline and by being selective about which imagery is considered informative in terms of our visual SLAM map. A novel online bag-of-words measure for intra and interimage saliency are introduced and are shown to be useful for image key-frame selection, information-gain-based link hypothesis, and novelty detection. Results from three real-world hull inspection experiments evaluate the overall approach, including one survey comprising a 3.4-h/2.7-km-long trajectory. View full abstract»

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  • Appearance-Based Loop Closure Detection for Online Large-Scale and Long-Term Operation

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 734 - 745
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (749 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In appearance-based localization and mapping, loop-closure detection is the process used to determinate if the current observation comes from a previously visited location or a new one. As the size of the internal map increases, so does the time required to compare new observations with all stored locations, eventually limiting online processing. This paper presents an online loop-closure detection approach for large-scale and long-term operation. The approach is based on a memory management method, which limits the number of locations used for loop-closure detection so that the computation time remains under real-time constraints. The idea consists of keeping the most recent and frequently observed locations in a working memory (WM) that is used for loop-closure detection, and transferring the others into a long-term memory (LTM). When a match is found between the current location and one stored in WM, associated locations that are stored in LTM can be updated and remembered for additional loop-closure detections. Results demonstrate the approach's adaptability and scalability using ten standard datasets from other appearance-based loop-closure approaches, one custom dataset using real images taken over a 2-km loop of our university campus, and one custom dataset (7 h) using virtual images from the racing video game “Need for Speed: Most Wanted”. View full abstract»

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  • Grasp Optimization Under Specific Contact Constraints

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 746 - 757
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (7437 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents a procedure for synthesizing high-quality grasps for objects that need to be held and manipulated in a specific way, characterized by a prespecified set of contact constraints to be satisfied. Due to the multimodal nature of typical grasp quality measures, approaches that resort to local optimization methods are likely to get trapped into local extrema on such a problem. An additional difficulty is that the set of feasible grasps is a highly dimensional manifold, implicitly defined by a system of nonlinear equations. The proposed procedure finds a way around these issues by focusing the exploration on a relevant subset of grasps of lower dimension and tracing this subset exhaustively using a higher-dimensional continuation technique. A detailed atlas of the subset is obtained as a result, on which the highest quality grasp, according to any desired criterion, or a combination of criteria, can be readily identified. Examples are included that illustrate the application of the method to a three-fingered planar hand and to the Schunk anthropomorphic hand grasping different objects, using several quality indices. View full abstract»

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  • The Univariate Closure Conditions of All Fully Parallel Planar Robots Derived From a Single Polynomial

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 758 - 765
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    The real roots of the univariate polynomial closure condition of a planar parallel robot determine the solutions of its forward kinematics. This paper shows how the univariate polynomials of all fully parallel planar robots can be derived directly from that of the widely known 3-RPR robot by simply formulating these polynomials in terms of distances and oriented areas. This is a relevant result because it avoids the case-by-case treatment that requires different sets of variable eliminations to obtain the univariate polynomial of each fully parallel planar robot. View full abstract»

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  • Circular Pulley Versus Variable Radius Pulley: Optimal Design Methodologies and Dynamic Characteristics Analysis

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 766 - 774
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1069 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Human-centered robotics has received growing interest in low-impedance actuations. In particular, pneumatic artificial muscles (PAMs) provide compliance and high force-to-weight ratio, which allow for safe actuation. However, several performance drawbacks prevent PAMs from being more pervasive. Although many approaches have been proposed to overcome the low control bandwidth of PAMs, some limitations of PAMs, such as restricted workspace and torque capacity, remain to be addressed. This paper analyzes the characteristics and limitations of PAMs-driven joints and subsequently provides an optimization strategy for circular pulleys (CPs) in order to improve joint torque capacity over a large workspace. In addition to CPs, this paper proposes a design methodology to synthesize a pair of variable radius pulleys (VRPs) for further improvement. Simulation and experimental results show that newly synthesized VRPs significantly improve torque capacity in the enlarged workspace without loss of dynamic performance. Finally, the characteristics of CPs and VRPs are discussed in terms of physical human-robot interaction. View full abstract»

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  • Transformation Control to an Inverted Pendulum for a Mobile Robot With Wheel-Arms Using Partial Linearization and Polytopic Model Set

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 774 - 783
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1057 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents a shape transformation control method of a mobile robot with wheel-arms. The proposed method aims at transformation from a four-wheeled mode for high-speed mobility to an inverted pendulum mode, which has advantages of high viewing position and small turning radius. The transformation starts with lifting up the wheel-arms to raise the center of gravity of the whole robot including the main body and arms. From such initial states, the body is lifted up and controlled to the target angle by partial linearization, while returning the arms to the initial angle. Then, the robot position is controlled by manipulating the target body angle. Unlike existing methods, we take into account the effects of the body angular velocity and the tracking error of the body angle by constructing a model set, which is composed of a single nominal model and its polytopic uncertainty for the system matrices. In order to derive the model set, we assume that the target body angle is constrained to a prescribed range. Therefore, the target body angle is manipulated using a model predictive control method, such that the closed-loop system is asymptotically stabilized, while the given constraint is satisfied, for all systems in the model set. The effectiveness of the proposed method is demonstrated in both simulations and real robot experiments. View full abstract»

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  • Real-Time Estimate of Velocity and Acceleration of Quasi-Periodic Signals Using Adaptive Oscillators

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 783 - 791
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (636 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Estimation of the temporal derivatives of a noisy position signal is a ubiquitous problem in industrial and robotics engineering. Here, we propose a new approach to get velocity and acceleration estimates of cyclical/periodic signals near to steady-state regime, by using adaptive oscillators. Our method combines the advantages of introducing no delay, and filtering out the high-frequency noise. We expect this method to be useful in control applications requiring undelayed but smooth estimates of velocity and acceleration (e.g., velocity control and inverse dynamics) of quasi-periodic tasks (e.g., active vibration compensation, robot locomotion, and lower-limb movement assistance). View full abstract»

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  • Gain Scheduling Control for a Class of Variable Stiffness Actuators Based on Lever Mechanisms

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 791 - 798
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1521 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper is concerned with the design of a control strategy for variable stiffness actuators in series configuration, exploiting the lever concept to adjust the stiffness at the transmission. A control strategy based on gain scheduling is proposed, which is able to regulate both stiffness and position at output link. The gain scheduling is designed based on a set of linear quadratic regulators (LQRs), because LQR's inherent robustness properties can accommodate significant variation in the actuation plant parameters. The link positioning relies on continuous adjustment of the control effort based on the current transmission stiffness; the stiffness perceived at the output link is regulated through combined action of the transmission stiffness and the positioning gains of the scheduling strategy. The effectiveness of the controller is verified in simulation and experiments on the actuator with adjustable stiffness. The overall strategy has been proven to be locally stable. View full abstract»

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  • C-FOREST: Parallel Shortest Path Planning With Superlinear Speedup

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 798 - 806
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1540 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    C-FOREST is a parallelization framework for single-query sampling-based shortest path-planning algorithms. Multiple search trees are grown in parallel (e.g., 1 per CPU). Each time a better path is found, it is exchanged between trees so that all trees can benefit from its data. Specifically, the path's nodes increase the other trees' configuration space visibility, while the length of the path is used to prune irrelevant nodes and to avoid sampling from irrelevant portions of the configuration space. Experiments with a robotic team, a manipulator arm, and the alpha benchmark demonstrate that C-FOREST achieves significant superlinear speedup in practice for shortest path-planning problems (team and arm), but not for feasible path panning (alpha). View full abstract»

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  • 3-D Localization of Human Based on an Inertial Capture System

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 806 - 812
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (509 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper introduces a method to track the spatial location and movement of a human using wearable inertia sensors without additional external global positioning devices. Starting from the lower limb kinematics of a human, the method uses multiple wearable inertia sensors to determine the orientation of the body segments and lower limb joint motions. At the same time, based on human kinematics and locomotion phase detection, the spatial position and the trajectory of a reference point on the body can be determined. An experimental study has shown that the position error can be controlled within 1-2% of the total distance in both indoor and outdoor environments. The system is capable of localization on irregular terrains (like uphill/downhill). From the localization results, the ground shape and the height information that can be recovered after localization experiments are conducted. A benchmark study on the accuracy of this method was carried out using the camera-based motion analysis system to study the validity of the system. The localization data that are obtained from the proposed method match well with those from the commercial system. Since the sensors can be worn on the human at any time and any place, this method has no restriction to indoor and outdoor applications. View full abstract»

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  • IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Information

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): C3
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • IEEE Transactions on Robotics information for authors

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): C4
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Aims & Scope

IEEE Transactions on Robotics covers both theory and applications on topics including: kinematics, dynamics, control, and simulation of robots and intelligent machines and systems.

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Frank Park
Seoul National University