In this paper, we introduce a novel interface for teleoperation that allows novice users to effectively and intuitively control robot manipulators. The premise of our method is that an interface that allows a user to direct a robot using the natural 6-DOF space of his/her hand would afford effective direct control of a robot arm. However, a direct mapping between the user’s hand and the robot’s end effector is impractical because the robot has different kinematic and speed capabilities than the human arm. Our key idea is that by relaxing the constraint of the direct mapping between hand position and orientation and end effector configuration, a system can provide the user with the feel of direct control, yet be able to achieve the practical requirements for telemanipulation such as motion smoothness and singularity avoidance. We present methods for implementing a motion retargeting solution that achieves this relaxed control using constrained optimization and describe a system that utilizes it to provide real-time control of a robot arm. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach in a user study that shows that novice users can complete a range of tasks more efficiently and enjoyably using our relaxed-mimicry based interface than with standard interfaces.
Daniel Rakita, Bilge Mutlu, and Michael Gleicher