New paper on Transaction on Neural System and Rehabilitation Engineering

While attending at the Consortium Meeting of the EU project SoftPro, we are happy to announce our new paper on the Robotic Sixth Finger appeared in Transaction on Neural System and Rehabilitation Engineering. The paper is part of the Special Issue on Wearable Robotics for Motion Assistance and Rehabilitation.

Compensating Hand Function in Chronic Stroke Patients Through the Robotic Sixth Finger  

G. Salvietti, I. Hussain, D. Cioncoloni, S. Taddei, S. Rossi, D. Prattichizzo

A novel solution to compensate hand grasping abilities is proposed for chronic stroke patients. The goal is to provide the patients with a wearable robotic extra-finger that can be worn on the paretic forearm by means of an elastic band. The proposed prototype, the Robotic Sixth Finger, is a modular articulated device that can adapt its structure to the grasped object shape. The extra-finger and the paretic hand act like the two parts of a gripper cooperatively holding an object. We evaluated the feasibility of the approach with four chronic stroke patients performing a qualitative test, the Frenchay Arm Test. In this proof of concept study, the use of the Robotic Sixth Finger has increased the total score of the patients of 2 points in a 5 points scale. The subjects were able to perform the two grasping tasks included in the test that were not possible without the robotic extra-finger. Adding a robotic opposing finger is a very promising approach that can significantly improve the functional compensation of the chronic stroke patient during everyday life activities.

tnsre

Paper bibtex file:

@article{SaHuCiTaRoPr-TNSRE-17,
Author = {Salvietti, G. and Hussain, I. and Cioncoloni, D. and Taddei, S. and Rossi, S. and Prattichizzo, D.},
Title = {Compensating Hand Function in Chronic Stroke Patients Through the Robotic Sixth Finger},
Journal = {Transaction on Neural System and Rehabilitation Engineering},
Volume = {25},
Number = {2},
Pages = {142–150},
Year = {2017}
}

New paper “Steering and control of miniaturized untethered soft magnetic grippers with haptic assistance” on IEEE T-ASE

A new paper has been published on the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (IF 2.7).

C. Pacchierotti, F. Ongaro, F. van den Brink, C. Yoon, D. Prattichizzo, D.H. Gracias, S. Misra. “Steering and control of miniaturized untethered soft magnetic grippers with haptic assistance”. IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering. In Press, 2017.

Pacchierotti_T-ASE

The work is a collaboration between our lab, the Surgical Robotics Lab at the University of Twente, and the Gracias Laboratory at the Johns Hopkins University.

Full paper: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7820145/ and http://sirslab.dii.unisi.it/papers/2017/Pacchierotti.TASE.2017.Microgrippers.Fin.pdf

Video

Talk (screencast of IROS2016) on Cooperative aerial tele-manipulation with haptic feedback

This is the screencast of the talk that Domenico Prattichizzo gave in IEEE IROS 2016 in Korea to present the IROS paper:

M. Mohammadi, A. Franchi, Davide Barcelli, and D. Prattichizzo,
“Cooperative aerial tele-manipulation with haptic feedback”,
2016 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems(IROS), Daejeon, Korea, 2016, pp. 5092-5098.

Summary of the paper: In this paper, we propose a bilateral tele-operation scheme for cooperative aerial manipulation in which a human operator drives a team of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aerial vehicles, that grasped an object beforehand, and receives a force feedback depending on the states of the system.

Abstract:
In this paper, we propose a bilateral tele-operation scheme for cooperative aerial manipulation in which a human operator drives a team of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aerial vehicles, that grasped an object beforehand, and receives a force feedback depending on the states of the system. For application scenarios in which dexterous manipulation by each robot is not necessary, we propose using a rigid tool at- tached to the vehicle through a passive spherical joint, equipped with a simple adhesive mechanism at the tool-tip that can stick to the grasped object. Having more than two robots, we use the extra degrees of freedom to find the optimal force allocation in term of minimum power and forces smoothness. The human operator commands a desired trajectory for the robot team through a haptic interface to a pose controller, and the output of the pose controller along with system constraints, e.g., VTOL limited forces and contact maintenance, defines the feasible set of forces. Then, an on-line optimization allocates forces by minimizing a cost function of forces and their variation. Finally, propeller thrusts are computed by a dedicated attitude and thrust controller in a decentralized fashion. Human/Hardware in the loop simulation study shows efficiency of the proposed scheme, and the importance of haptic feedback to achieve a better performance.

VIDEO ON YOUTUBE

Check out the video on youtube:

The paper is here linked

New Review paper “Haptic Feedback for Microrobotics Applications: A Review” on Frontiers in Robotics and AI

A new article has been published on Frontiers in Robotics and AI.

C. Pacchierotti, S. Scheggi, D. Prattichizzo, S. Misra. “Haptic feedback for microrobotics applications: a review. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 3(53), 2016.

Screenshot from 2016-09-05 09-15-11

Full article: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/frobt.2016.00053/full

Paper selected as the “Featured Article” of the 2015 Oct – Dec issue of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics

The paper “Enhancing the Performance of Passive Teleoperation Systems via Cutaneous Feedback” by C. Pacchierotti, A. Tirmizi, G. Bianchini, and D. Prattichizzo has been chosen as the “Featured Article” of the 2015 Oct – Dec IEEE Transactions on Haptics issue!

toh featured

The featured paper can be downloaded from here.

New paper published on Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing “Hand–tool–tissue interaction forces in neurosurgery for haptic rendering”

Haptics provides sensory stimuli that represent the interaction with a virtual or tele-manipulated object, and it is considered a valuable navigation and manipulation tool during tele-operated surgical procedures. Haptic feedback can be provided to the user via cutaneous information and kinesthetic feedback.

 

deviceSensory subtraction removes the kinesthetic component of the haptic feedback, having only the cutaneous component provided to the user. Such a technique guarantees a stable haptic feedback loop, while it keeps the transparency of the tele-operation system high, which means that the system faithfully replicates and render back the user’s directives.

 

figure1This work focuses on checking whether the interaction forces during a bench model neurosurgery operation can lie in the solely cutaneous perception of the human finger pads. If this assumption is found true, it would be possible to exploit sensory subtraction techniques for providing surgeons with feedback from neurosurgery. We measured the forces exerted to surgical tools by three neurosurgeons performing typical actions on a brain phantom, using contact force sensors, whilst the forces exerted by the tools to the phantom tissue were recorded using a load cell placed under the brain phantom box. The measured surgeon-tool contact forces were 0.01 – 3.49 N for the thumb and 0.01 – 6.6 N for index and middle finger, whereas the measured tool- tissue interaction forces were from six to eleven times smaller than the contact forces, i.e., 0.01 – 0.59 N.

 

Fingerprint_detail_on_male_finger_smallThe measurements for the contact forces fit the range of the cutaneous sensitivity for the human finger pad, thus, we can say that, in a tele-operated robotic neurosurgery scenario, it would possible to render forces at the fingertip level by conveying haptic cues solely through the cutaneous channel of the surgeon’s finger pads. This approach would allow high transparency and high stability of the haptic feedback loop in a tele-operation system.

 

PDF: http://sirslab.dii.unisi.it/papers/2015/Aggravi.MBEC.2015.Surgeons.pdf

M. Aggravi, E. De Momi, F. DiMeco, F. Cardinale, G. Casaceli, M. Riva, G. Ferrigno, D. Prattichizzo, D.
“Hand-Tool-Tissue Interaction Forces in Neurosurgery for Haptic Rendering.”
Medical & Biological Engineering and Computing, Springer, 2015.
DOI: 10.1007/s11517-015-1439-8

IEEE Transactions on Haptics, Issue 4, 2015, features 3 articles from our lab!

Three out of the fifteen articles published in the new issue of the IEEE Transactions on Haptics are from our group!

Check them out.

  • D. Prattichizzo, L. Meli, M. Malvezzi. “Digital Handwriting with a Finger or a Stylus: a Biomechanical Comparison”. IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 8(4):356-370, 2015. details doi pdf
 The benchmark: writing on a tablet with the finger and with the stylus. Which solution is better? From: D. Prattichizzo et al., 2015.
The benchmark: writing on a tablet with the finger and with the stylus. Which solution is better?
From: D. Prattichizzo et al., 2015.
  • C. Pacchierotti, D. Prattichizzo, K. J. Kuchenbecker. “Displaying sensed tactile cues with a fingertip haptic device”. IEEE Transactions on Haptics. 8(4):384 – 396, 2015.details doi pdf
Cutaneous algorithm demonstration: the contact deformations sensed by the BioTac are provided to the human subjects through the 3-DoF cutaneous device. From: C. Pacchierotti et al., 2015a.
Cutaneous algorithm demonstration: the contact deformations sensed by the BioTac are provided to the human subjects through our 3-DoF cutaneous device.
From: C. Pacchierotti et al., 2015a.
  • C. Pacchierotti, A. Tirmizi, G. Bianchini, D. Prattichizzo. “Enhancing the performance of passive teleoperation systems via cutaneous feedback”. IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 8(4):397 – 409, 2015. details doi pdf
Our approach modifies a classic time-domain passivity control strategy by adding the opportunity of providing cutaneous feedback when the required force cannot be safely conveyed using kinesthetic feedback. From: C. Pacchierotti et al., 2015b.
The proposed approach modifies a classic time-domain passivity control strategy by adding the opportunity of providing cutaneous feedback when the required force cannot be safely conveyed using kinesthetic feedback.
From: C. Pacchierotti et al., 2015b.