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Proceedings Paper

Using arm and hand gestures to command robots during stealth operations
Author(s): Adrian Stoica; Chris Assad; Michael Wolf; Ki Sung You; Marco Pavone; Terry Huntsberger; Yumi Iwashita
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Paper Abstract

Command of support robots by the warfighter requires intuitive interfaces to quickly communicate high degree-offreedom (DOF) information while leaving the hands unencumbered. Stealth operations rule out voice commands and vision-based gesture interpretation techniques, as they often entail silent operations at night or in other low visibility conditions. Targeted at using bio-signal inputs to set navigation and manipulation goals for the robot (say, simply by pointing), we developed a system based on an electromyography (EMG) "BioSleeve", a high density sensor array for robust, practical signal collection from forearm muscles. The EMG sensor array data is fused with inertial measurement unit (IMU) data. This paper describes the BioSleeve system and presents initial results of decoding robot commands from the EMG and IMU data using a BioSleeve prototype with up to sixteen bipolar surface EMG sensors. The BioSleeve is demonstrated on the recognition of static hand positions (e.g. palm facing front, fingers upwards) and on dynamic gestures (e.g. hand wave). In preliminary experiments, over 90% correct recognition was achieved on five static and nine dynamic gestures. We use the BioSleeve to control a team of five LANdroid robots in individual and group/squad behaviors. We define a gesture composition mechanism that allows the specification of complex robot behaviors with only a small vocabulary of gestures/commands, and we illustrate it with a set of complex orders.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 May 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8407, Multisensor, Multisource Information Fusion: Architectures, Algorithms, and Applications 2012, 84070G (10 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.923690
Show Author Affiliations
Adrian Stoica, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Chris Assad, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Michael Wolf, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Ki Sung You, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Marco Pavone, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Terry Huntsberger, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Yumi Iwashita, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8407:
Multisensor, Multisource Information Fusion: Architectures, Algorithms, and Applications 2012
Jerome J. Braun, Editor(s)

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