Haptic Guidance with a Soft Exoskeleton Reduces Error in Drone Teleoperation
Haptic guidance has been shown to improve performance in many fields as it can give additional information without overloading other sensory channels such as vision or audition. Our group is investigating new intuitive ways to interact with robots, and we developed a suit to control drones with upper body movement, called the FlyJacket. In this paper, we present the integration of a cable-driven haptic guidance in the FlyJacket. The aim of the device is to apply a force relative to the distance between the drone and a predetermined trajectory to correct user torso orientation and improve the flight precision. Participants (n = 10) flying a simulated fixed-wing drone controlled with torso movements tested four different guidance profiles (three linear profiles with different stiffness and one quadratic). Our results show that a quadratically shaped guidance, which gives a weak force when the error is small and a strong force when the error becomes significant, was the most effective guidance to improve the performance. All participants also reported through questionnaires that the haptic guidance was useful for flight control.
KeywordsWearable haptics and exoskeletons Teleoperation and telepresence Robotics
The authors would like to acknowledge Alexandre Cherpillod for the implementation of the error calculation in the drone simulator and thanks Claire Donnat for her help with the statistical analysis. This work has been supported by the Swiss National Center of Competence in Research in Robotics (NCCR Robotics).
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