Multi-directional impedance control with electromyography for compliant human-robot interaction

Mark Ison, Panagiotis Artemiadis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


Compliant human-robot interaction is necessary for the seamless integration of robotic devices into everyday life. Surface electromyography (sEMG) provides a potential interface for compliant control due to the natural relationship between muscle activity and joint stiffness. Previous works have used sEMG to predict and control impedance along a single degree-of-freedom (DOF). However, humans interacting in unstable environments tune both the magnitude and direction of their impedance. This paper proposes a framework for multi-directional impedance control with sEMG to enhance compliant interactions. The framework allows subjects to simultaneously control both the direction of motion and primary stiffness axis of a robot, enabling stable behavior with controlled compliance to external forces. The efficacy of the approach is shown in a five day experiment with a 3-DOF virtual environment. Subjects displayed significant performance enhancements consistent with motor skill learning as they learned to follow paths and stay at desired targets while compensating for external forces. The framework is also demonstrated with compliant simultaneous and proportional control of a robot arm, suggesting the approach as a natural interface for enhancing capabilities of compliant human-robot interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781479918072
StatePublished - Sep 28 2015
Event14th IEEE/RAS-EMBS International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR 2015 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: Aug 11 2015Aug 14 2015


Other14th IEEE/RAS-EMBS International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics, ICORR 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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