User’s Task Performance In Two-handed Complementary-motion Teleoperation

Despite recent advances to improve transparency of teleoperation systems, certain tasks remain difficult and timeconsuming when performed via teleoperation. Operators are often required to perform tasks involving multiple degrees-offreedom (DOFs) requiring great dexterity. To be fully adopted, the speed and ease of teleoperated task performance must be increased. A possibility is to use cooperative manipulation, namely two-handed teleoperation, to allow the two hands of the user to manipulate two master haptic devices in order to control a slave robot with multiple DOFs; the total DOFs of the two masters are equal to the DOFs of the slave. We present the results of a user study that evaluates the performance of a bimanual teleoperation system involving two 3-DOF haptic master interfaces to control a 6-DOF slave manipulator. The two master’s motions are complementary. Then, we compare this performance to a single-master/single-slave teleoperation system using 6-DOF master and slave manipulators. In order to compare the users’ performance in the two systems, a 6-DOF task experiment is considered. The task performed resembles typical tasks carried out in surgery. The results of our study suggest that DOF decomposition leads to significant improvements regarding task completion time and trajectory tracking for a task which involves following a pattern while maintaining a desired depth.