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Control modes for human machine interfaces

Human-machine interfaces (HMIs) can be used in a variety of applications, including teleoperated systems, haptic training simulators, movement therapy for neuro-rehabilitation, and prostheses. The most effective controller, which maps the user's physical input to the control interface and the output of a controlled object, may depend on the particular application. In general, HMIs can be categorized as either isometric (no user movement; applied force/torque is the control input) or anisometric (allows user movement; displacement is the control input).

This work investigated a controller that allowed transition between anisometric and isometric mode of an HMI, shifting the control input from position to force as the user's movement is gradually reduced. We tested two different controller designs on a custom haptic device. This anisometric to isometric transitioning can potentially be used for training purposes, enabling transfer of what was learning in one mode to the other, as well as novel studies of the human sensorimotor system.

T. L. Gibo, M. F. Rotella, A. J. Bastian, and A. M. Okamura.
Gradual anisometric-isometric transition for human-machine interfaces.
33rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), pp. 4507-4510, 2011.