Perception and orientation issues in human control of robot motion

Gray Cobb, Susan Valerie (1991) Perception and orientation issues in human control of robot motion. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The use of remote teach controls for programming industrial robots has led to concern over programmer safety and reliability. The primary issue is the close proximity to the robot arm required for the programmer or maintainer to clearly see the tool actions, and it is feared that errors in robot control could result in injury. The further concern that variations in teach control design could cause "negative transfer" of learning has led to a call for standardisation of robot teach controls. However,at present there is insufficient data to provide suitable design recommendations. This is because previous researchers have measured control performance on very general, and completely different, programming tasks.

This work set out to examine the motion control task, from which a framework was developed to represent the robot motion control process. This showed the decisions and actions required to achieve robot movement, together with the factors which may influence them.

Two types of influencing factors were identified: robot system factors and human cognitive factors. Robot system factors add complexity to the control task by producing motion reversals which alter the control-robot motion relationship. These motion reversals were identified during the experimental programme which examined observers' perception of robot motion under different conditions of human-robot orientation and robot arm configuration. These determine the orientation of the robot with respect to the observer at any given time.

It was found that changes in orientation may influence the observer's perception of robot movement producing inconsistent descriptions of the same movement viewed under different orientations. Furthermore, due to the strong association between perceived movement and control selection demonstrated n these experiments, no particular differences in error performance using different control designs were observed.

It is concluded that human cognitive factors, specifically the operators' perception of robot movement and their ability to recognise motion reversals, have greater influence on control selection errors than control design per se.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Wilson, J.R.
Syan, C.
Keywords: Ergonomics, Human engineering, Robotics, Robot control systems, Robot motion
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
Item ID: 11237
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2010 10:47
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2017 22:29

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