Performance evaluation of a foot-controlled human-robot interface

by   Yanpei Huang, et al.

Robotic minimally invasive interventions typically require using more than two instruments. We thus developed a foot pedal interface which allows the user to control a robotic arm (simultaneously to working with the hands) with four degrees of freedom in continuous directions and speeds. This paper evaluates and compares the performances of ten naive operators in using this new pedal interface and a traditional button interface in completing tasks. These tasks are geometrically complex path-following tasks similar to those in laparoscopic training, and the traditional button interface allows axis-by-axis control with constant speeds. Precision, time, and smoothness of the subjects' control movements for these tasks are analysed. The results demonstrate that the pedal interface can be used to control a robot for complex motion tasks. The subjects kept the average error rate at a low level of around 2.6 but the pedal interface resulted in about 30 smoother movement, which indicates improved efficiency and user experience as compared with the button interface. The results of a questionnaire show that the operators found that controlling the robot with the pedal interface was more intuitive, comfortable, and less tiring than using the button interface.


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