Anticipatory detection of turning in humans for intuitive control of robotic mobility assistance
Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Many wearable lower-limb robots for walking assistance have been developed in recent years. However, it remains unclear how they can be commanded in an intuitive and efficient way by their user. In particular, providing robotic assistance to neurologically impaired individuals in turning remains a significant challenge. The control should be safe to the users and their environment, yet yield sufficient performance and enable natural humanmachine interaction. Here, we propose using the head and
... using the head and trunk anticipatory behaviour in order to detect the intention to turn in a natural, non-intrusive way, and use it for triggering turning movement in a robot for walking assistance. We therefore study head and trunk orientation during locomotion of healthy adults, and investigate upper body anticipatory behaviour during turning. The collected walking and turning kinematics data are clustered using the k-means algorithm and cross-validation tests and k-nearest neighbours method are used to evaluate the performance of turning detection during locomotion. Tests with seven subjects exhibited accurate turning detection. Head anticipated turning by more than 400-500 ms in average across all subjects. Overall the proposed method detected turning 300 ms after its initiation and 1230 ms before the turning movement is completed. Using head anticipatory behaviour enabled to detect turning faster by about 100 ms if compared to turning detection using only pelvis orientation measurements. Finally, it was demonstrated that the proposed turning detection can improve quality of human-robot interaction by improving the control accuracy and transparency.