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Project Reference: ITP/036/22LP
Project Title: Human-Robot Direct Tactile Interaction System
Hosting Institution: LSCM R&D Centre (LSCM)
Abstract: Traditional way for robot input is through an interface such as joystick, button, rotary knob
or touch screen. The robot then will react to the input in a form of motion such as moving
forward/backward which is speed or position controlled. This process forms a in-direct
human-robot control loop.
The aim of this project is to develop an intuitive robot human direct interaction system.
Human gives force to the robot and the robot also output as a form of amplified force.
Operator gives force to the robot and it outputs in a form of amplified force. The reaction
force acting on the robot will also feedback to the operator. This process forms a direct
human-robot control loop.
When force is applied to a material, it will cause micro deformation of the material itself.
Strain gauge sensors are used to pick up such deformation and represented in the form
of resistance value. Such sensors are excited, acquired, filtered and processed to
calculate a resultant signal which represent the amplitude and direction of the input force.
(Annex 1) The signal is then processed and amplified, represented in the form of torque
(force) by actuators (motors) through a custom made BLDC controller ((Annex 3).
The whole system will be represented by deploying to a trolley/cart (Annex 2). Force
inserted by human will causes micro deformation to the specially designed trolley/cart.
The motors on the trolley/cart will output a counter force (torque) calculated by an
onboard AI controller (integrated with the BLDC controller) oppose to the user input. Such
combination of sensors, controls and actuators system will make a power assisted trolley/
cart which is intuitive to use without any input devices.

The system developed in this project can be applied to various applications such as
wheel chair, linen, hospital bed, construction site, hotel luggage and laundry logistic, etc.
It can helps lessen muscle fatigue, increases productivity and reduces the number and
severity of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and occupational injuries.
Project Coordinator: Mr Wing-Leung CHOW
Approved Funding Amount: HK$ 6.45M
Project Period: 12 Dec 2022 - 12 June 2024
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