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A Multi-Modal and Collaborative Human–Machine Interface for a Walking Robot


Walking locomotion has been proved as an adequate technique for autonomous motion on an uneven terrain. However, natural scenarios can be extremely complex and human intervention is regularly required. In such a case, a dialogue system known as human–machine interface (HMI) is essential for interrelation between human and machine. The objective of this paper is to present a human–machine interface developed for a four-legged robot. This HMI is based on a multi-modal interface, which integrates some ideas about collaborative control. It was developed as an operator's interface for guiding a walking robot, but it can also be used as a tool for analysing and debugging new gait algorithms. The interface includes some methods for defining robot trajectory and graphic representations for gaining information on both the robot and its environment. This work is tailored to the SILO4 walking robot; therefore, the SILO4 mechanism and control system are first introduced to lay out the possibilities of this new walking robot. Then, the main concepts, on which the HMI design is based, are introduced prior to the description of the different modules and functionality of the human–machine interface. Finally, some simulations and experiments with the SILO4 walking robot have been conducted to validate the performance of the HMI, presented in this article.

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Estremera, J., Garcia, E. & Gonzalez de Santos, P. A Multi-Modal and Collaborative Human–Machine Interface for a Walking Robot. Journal of Intelligent and Robotic Systems 35, 397–425 (2002).

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  • walking robots
  • human–robot interaction
  • collaborative control
  • robot modelling
  • robot control