Initial Studies in Human-Robot-Human Interaction: Fitts' Law for Two People

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Conference Proceeding

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fitts' law, haptic interaction, human-human, human-robot-human

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Often two people must work together physically on a common task, such as lifting and positioning a long board, or, in our model experimental system, turning a two-handled crank. Such tasks involve communication between the people, mediated by the task kinematics and dynamics: each person feels forces and motions produced by the other and derives some meaning from them. Tasks may include a degree of competition: the two people may not have exactly the same goal in mind, and must negotiate a compromise. Understanding human-human communication is important in designing robots for interaction with humans, and for robots that provide powered assistance for human-human tasks (such as physical therapy). In this paper we describe early experiments in human-human physical interaction, with a 1 dof robot included in order to give experimental access to the exchange of forces and motions between the people. We report on Fitts' law-like tasks, in which the two people cooperate to move a cursor to a common target, or to targets that do not completely overlap. Our results suggest that human-human physical communication may be a rich area of study.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

2004 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, v. 3, p. 2333-2338