Mathematical Description of Functional Motion and Application as a Feeding Mode for General Purpose Assistive Robots
Abstract:Eating a meal is among the Activities of Daily Living,
but it takes a lot of time and effort for people with physical
or functional limitations. Dedicated technologies are cumbersome
and not portable, while general-purpose assistive robots such as
wheelchair-based manipulators are too hard to control for elaborate
continuous motion like eating. Eating with such devices has not
previously been automated, since there existed no description of
a feeding motion for uncontrolled environments. In this paper, we
introduce a feeding mode for assistive manipulators, including a
mathematical description of trajectories for motions that are difficult
to perform manually such as gathering and scooping food at a
defined/desired pace. We implement these trajectories in a sequence
of movements for a semi-automated feeding mode which can be
controlled with a very simple 3-button interface, allowing the user
to have control over the feeding pace. Finally, we demonstrate the
feeding mode with a JACO robotic arm and compare the eating
speed, measured in bites per minute of three eating methods: a
healthy person eating unaided, a person with upper limb limitations
or disability using JACO with manual control, and a person with
limitations using JACO with the feeding mode. We found that the
feeding mode allows eating about 5 bites per minute, which should
be sufficient to eat a meal under 30min.
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