Waving arm around

Motion planning is required for moving and positioning the robot arm. Creating our own motion planning algorithms is a bit beyond the scope of our research. We are currently considering using the motion planning built into the arm through the Kinova SDK or the MoveIt! package from Robot Operating System [1]. We will be implementing the controller described by Y. Kuriyama [2] to prevent dropping food as it is transported from the plate to the mouth. Although that controller is specifically for liquid, we will attempt to use it for solid food. I. Naotunna et al. [3] mentions that the trajectory of the eating utensil should avoid approaching the face along the sagittal plane to avoid making the user feel uncomfortable. In layman’s terms, don’t move the fork straight at someone’s face, it makes them uncomfortable, move in at an angle to the face.

Controlling the robot arm is hard. Moving a 6-axis robot arm with a 3-axis joystick is rather awkward. We are investigating methods to make controlling the arm easier. Our idea is to make eating food with the arm easier by having the arm move autonomously for parts of the task of eating. I have been specifically focusing on implementing motion planning for the robot arm. The arm needs to be moved quickly and precisely to avoid injuring the user and to improve eating speed.

One extension to our work is catheter insertion. People who do not have full control of their body still produce waste. The robot arm can assist with catheter insertion. We will need to heavily modify the face recognition component of our current system.

[1] Ioan A. Sucan and Sachin Chitta, “MoveIt!”, [Online] Available: http://moveit.ros.org.
[2] Y. Kuriyama, K. Yano and M. Hamaguchi, “Trajectory planning for meal assist robot considering spilling avoidance”, 2008
[3] I. Naotunna, C. J. Perera, C. Sandaruwan, R. A. R. C. Gopura and T. D. Lalitharatne, “Meal assistance robots: A review on current status, challenges and future directions,” 2015 IEEE/SICE International Symposium on System Integration (SII), Nagoya, 2015, pp. 211-216.


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