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Wildenbeest J.G.W.,Technical University of Delft | Wildenbeest J.G.W.,Heemskerk Innovative Technology B.V. | Abbink D.A.,Technical University of Delft | Heemskerk C.J.M.,Heemskerk Innovative Technology B.V. | And 3 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Haptics | Year: 2013

In teleoperation, haptic feedback allows the human operator to touch the remote environment. Yet, it is only partially understood to what extent the quality of haptic feedback contributes to human-in-the-loop task performance. This paper presents a human factors experiment in which teleoperated task performance and control effort are assessed for a typical (dis-)assembly task in a hard-to-hard environment, well known to the operator. Subjects are provided with four levels of haptic feedback quality: no haptic feedback, low-frequency haptic feedback, combined low- and high-frequency haptic feedback, and the best possible-a natural spectrum of haptic feedback in a direct-controlled equivalent of the task. Four generalized fundamental subtasks are identified, namely: 1) free-space movement, 2) contact transition, 3) constrained translational, and 4) constrained rotational tasks. The results show that overall task performance and control effort are primarily improved by providing low-frequency haptic feedback (specifically by improvements in constrained translational and constrained rotational tasks), while further haptic feedback quality improvements yield only marginal performance increases and control effort decreases, even if a full natural spectrum of haptic feedback is provided. © 2008-2011 IEEE.


Boessenkool H.,FOM Institute DIFFER | Boessenkool H.,TU Eindhoven | Abbink D.A.,Technical University of Delft | Heemskerk C.J.M.,Heemskerk Innovative Technology B.V | And 3 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Haptics | Year: 2013

Telemanipulation allows human to perform operations in a remote environment, but performance and required time of tasks is negatively influenced when (haptic) feedback is limited. Improvement of transparency (reflected forces) is an important focus in literature, but despite significant progress, it is still imperfect, with many unresolved issues. An alternative approach to improve teleoperated tasks is presented in this study: Offering haptic shared control in which the operator is assisted by guiding forces applied at the master device. It is hypothesized that continuous intuitive interaction between operator and support system will improve required time and accuracy with less control effort, even for imperfect transparency. An experimental study was performed in a hard-contact task environment. The subjects were aided by the designed shared control to perform a simple bolt-spanner task using a planar three degree of freedom (DOF) teleoperator. Haptic shared control was compared to normal operation for three levels of transparency. The experimental results showed that haptic shared control improves task performance, control effort and operator cognitive workload for the overall bolt-spanner task, for all three transparency levels. Analyses per subtask showed that free air movement (FAM) benefits most from shared control in terms of time performance, and also shows improved accuracy. © 2013 IEEE.


Boessenkool H.,EURATOM | Boessenkool H.,TU Eindhoven | Abbink D.A.,Technical University of Delft | Heemskerk C.J.M.,Heemskerk Innovative Technology B.V. | And 7 more authors.
Fusion Engineering and Design | Year: 2013

One of the challenges in future fusion plants such as ITER is the remote maintenance of the plant. Foreseen human-in-the-loop tele-operation is characterized by limited visual and haptic feedback from the environment, which results in degraded task performance and increased operator workload. For improved tele-operated task performance it is required to get insight in the expected tasks and problems during maintenance at ITER. By means of an exploratory human factor experiment, this paper analyses problems and bottlenecks during the execution of foreseen tele-operated maintenance at ITER, identifying most promising areas of improvement. The focus of this paper is on free space (sub)tasks where contact with the environment needs to be avoided. A group of 5 subjects was asked to carry-out an ITER related free space task (visual inspection), using a six degree of freedom master device connected to a simulated hot cell environment. The results show large variation in time performance between subjects and an increasing number of collisions for more difficult tasks, indicating room for improvement for free space (sub)tasks. The results will be used in future research on the haptic guidance strategies in the ITER Remote Handling framework. © 2013 FOM institute DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research).


Van Oosterhout J.,EURATOM | Wildenbeest J.G.W.,Technical University of Delft | Wildenbeest J.G.W.,Heemskerk Innovative Technology B.V. | Boessenkool H.,EURATOM | And 5 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Haptics | Year: 2015

Haptic shared control is a promising approach to improve tele-manipulated task execution, by making safe and effective control actions tangible through guidance forces. In current research, these guidance forces are most often generated based on pre-generated, errorless models of the remote environment. Hence such guidance forces are exempt from the inaccuracies that can be expected in practical implementations. The goal of this research is to quantify the extent to which task execution is degraded by inaccuracies in the model on which haptic guidance forces are based. In a human-in-the-loop experiment, subjects (n = 14) performed a realistic tele-manipulated assembly task in a virtual environment. Operators were provided with various levels of haptic guidance, namely no haptic guidance (conventional tele-manipulation), haptic guidance without inaccuracies, and haptic guidance with translational inaccuracies (one large inaccuracy, in the order of magnitude of the task, and a second smaller inaccuracy). The quality of natural haptic feedback (i.e., haptic transparency) was varied between high and low to identify the operator's ability to detect and cope with inaccuracies in haptic guidance. The results indicate that haptic guidance is beneficial for task execution when no inaccuracies are present in the guidance. When inaccuracies are present, this may degrade task execution, depending on the magnitude and the direction of the inaccuracy. The effect of inaccuracies on overall task performance is dominated by effects found for the Constrained Translational Movement, due to its potential for jamming. No evidence was found that a higher quality of haptic transparency helps operators to detect and cope with inaccuracies in the haptic guidance. © 2015 IEEE.


Heemskerk C.J.M.,Heemskerk Innovative Technology BV | Elzendoorn B.S.Q.,EURATOM | Magielsen A.J.,Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group | Schropp G.Y.R.,University Utrecht
Fusion Engineering and Design | Year: 2011

A new facility has been taken in operation to investigate the influence of visual and haptic feedback on the performance of remotely executed ITER RH maintenance tasks. A reference set of representative ITER remote handling maintenance tasks was included the master slave manipulator system (MS2) benchmark product. The benchmark product was used in task performance tests in a representative two-handed dexterous manipulation test bed at NRG. In the setup, the quality of visual feedback was varied by exchanging direct view with indirect view setups in which visual feedback is provided via video cameras. Interaction forces were measured via an integrated force sensor. The impact of feedback quality on the performance of maintenance tasks at the level of handling individual parts was measured and analysed. Remote execution of the maintenance actions took roughly 3-5 times more time than hands-on. Visual feedback was identified as the dominant factor, including aspects like (lack of) operator control over camera placement, pan, tilt and zoom, lack of 3D perception, image quality, and latency. Haptic feedback was found to be important, but only in specific contact transition and constrained motion tasks. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Van Oosterhout J.,Technical University of Delft | Abbink D.A.,Technical University of Delft | Koning J.F.,Heemskerk Innovative Technology B.V. | Boessenkool H.,EURATOM | And 3 more authors.
Fusion Engineering and Design | Year: 2013

A promising solution to improve task performance in ITER hot cell remote handling is the use of haptic shared control. Haptic shared control can assist the human operator along a safe and optimal path with continuous guiding forces from an intelligent autonomous controller. Previous research tested such controllers with accurate knowledge of the environment (giving flawless guiding forces), while in a practical implementation guidance forces will sometimes be flawed due to inaccurate models or sensor information. This research investigated the effect of zero and small (7.5 mm) errors on task performance compared to normal (unguided) operation. In a human factors experiment subjects performed a three dimensional virtual reality peg-in-hole type task (30 mm diameter; 0.1 mm clearance), with and without - potentially flawed - haptic shared control. The results showed that the presence of guiding forces, despite of small guiding errors, still improved task performance with respect to unguided operations. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Wildenbeest J.G.W.,Technical University of Delft | Wildenbeest J.G.W.,Heemskerk Innovative Technology B.V. | Abbink D.A.,Technical University of Delft | Boessenkool H.,Institute for Energy and Transport of the Netherlands | And 4 more authors.
Fusion Engineering and Design | Year: 2013

Haptic shared control is a promising approach to increase the effectiveness of remote handling operations. While in haptic shared control the operator is continuously guided with assistive forces, the operator's response to forces is not fully understood. This study describes the development of a computational model of a human operator controlling a teleoperation system based on feedforward control. In a simulation, the operator's response to repulsive forces in free-space motions was modeled for two degrees of freedom, for two operator endpoint admittances (estimated by means of closed-loop identification techniques). The simulation results show that similar repulsive forces lead to substantial discrepancies in response when admittance settings mismatch; wrongly estimated operator admittances can lead to assistive forces that are either not perceived, or deflect the combined system of human operator and telemanipulator. It is concluded that assistive forces should be tailored to the arm configuration and the type of task performed. In order to utilize haptic shared control to its full potential, it is required to study, measure and quantitatively model operator behavior for teleoperated tasks in more detail. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Van Oosterhout J.,EURATOM | Heemskerk C.J.M.,Heemskerk Innovative Technology B.V. | Koning J.F.,Heemskerk Innovative Technology B.V. | Ronden D.M.S.,EURATOM | De Baar M.,EURATOM
Fusion Engineering and Design | Year: 2014

ITER standards Tesini (2009) require hardware mock-ups to validate the Remote Handling (RH) compatibility of RH class 1- and critical class 2-components. Full-scale mock-ups of large ITER components are expensive, have a long lead time and lose their relevance in case of design changes. Interactive Virtual Reality simulations with real time rigid body dynamics and contact interaction allow for RH Compatibility Assessment during the design iterations. This paper explores the use of interactive virtual mock-ups to analyze the RH compatibility of heavy component handling and maintenance. It infers generic maintenance operations from the analysis and proposes improvements to the simulator capabilities. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

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