I recently (well, relatively recently) returned from two robotics conferences where I presented some work from my PhD in synthesising human motion for robotic application.
At the International Conference of Social Robotics in Incheon, South Korea, I presented a paper titled 'Implementation of Realistic Reaching Motion Using a Sliding Mode/Operational Space Controller' abstract. This work described a controller that mimics the shoulder and elbow motions of a human for 2-dimensional reaching motion and then uses a sliding mode controller to allow this method to be applied to practical systems. This paper is to be published in the Springer proceedings 'Advances in Robotics'.
At TAROS (Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems), which was held in Londonderry, Northen Ireland, I presented an extension of the above paper which augmented the robot's concept of posture 'effort' to include limits of motion abstract. This is analogous to the discomfort felt by a human when stretching muscles or holding uncomfortable poses. Again the benefit of this work lies in the application to physical robots, where the limits of motion prevent mechanical damage to the system.
At both conferences my work was recieved well and there were some very interesting comments and suggestions. Of course it was also a pleasure to visit South Korea and Northern Ireland both as a tourist and as a robotics researcher. The image below was taken from the drinks reception at the Derry robotics lab and shows a research platform modified to distribute party snacks.
I don't think I can host .pdfs on blogspot otherwise I would make the papers available for download. Here are the full references if you wish to do your own search:
Spiers, A., Herrmann, G., Melhuish, C., Pipe, A. and Lenz, A. (2009) Robotic Implementation of Realistic Reaching Motion Using a Sliding Mode/Operational Space Controller. In: S. Ge, U. Witkowski, D., Kim, J., Kim, U., Rückert, D., Sandberg, M., Wahde, C., Cho, J. Cabibihan, Y. Pan, eds. In: Advances in Robotics - FIRA RoboWorld Congress 2009, Incheon 16th-20th August 2009. Heidelberg: Springer, 1980, pp. 230-238.
Spiers, A., Melhuish, C. and Herrmann, G. (2009) Implementing 'Discomfort' in Operational Space: Practical Application of a Human Motion Inspired Robot Controller. In: 10th Anniversary of TAROS - Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems, Londonderry 31st August – 3rd September 2009.