The widely accepted principle of remote manipulation is that the interface between man and machine should be designed so that it appears as the operator performs the task directly with his / her hands. This means that positions and forces shall be transferred from operator to the environment and vice versa as clear as possible. This is called ‘transparency’. However, despite decades of research, optimal transparency has not been achieved yet. Furthermore, the room for improvement of the task execution seems limited.
Within the Human-Centered Haptics project an alternative approach is envisaged: Haptic Shared Control. Haptic Shared Control combines man and machine by communicating information of task and environment continously as forces, with the aim of improving the performance of tasks. Designing good shared controllers requires understanding of human motion control, perception, tasks and environments, and mechatronics.
There is 4.8 MEuro for research available, with focus on medical, nuclear, space and deep-sea applications. Besides five universities, more than ten companies are participating in the project.
Heemskerk Innovative Technology in involved as industrial partner in the first two of seven workpackages, which relate to human perception, control and mechanical design of telemanipulation systems for Haptic Shared Control.