A Virtual Headstick for People with Spinal Cord Injuries
This paper presents a virtual headstick system as an alternative to the conventional passive headstick for persons with limited upper extremity function. The system is composed of a pair of kinematically dissimilar master-slave robots with the master robot being operated by the user's head. At the remote site, the end-effector of the slave robot moves as if it were at the tip of an imaginary headstick attached to the user's head. A unique feature of this system is that through force-reflection, the virtual headstick provides the user with proprioceptive information as in a conventional headstick, but with an augmentation of workspace volume and additional mechanical power. This paper describes the test-bed development, system identification, bilateral control implementation, and system performance evaluation.
Key Words: Assistive robotics; Head-control; Proprioception; Tele-manipulators; Force-reflection; Master-slave manipulation systems; Man-machine systems; Force-feedback control; System identification; Fitts' law.