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Volume 21 Issue 01 - Publication Date: 1 January 2002
 
Motion Guides for Assisted Manipulation
 
Kevin M. Lynch, Caizhen Liu, Allan Sørensen, Songho Kim, Michael Peshkin, J. Edward Colgate, Tanya Tickel, David Hannon and Kerry Shiels Mechanical Engineering Department, Northwestern University ,Evanston, IL 60208, USA
 
This paper explores the use of passive guides to assist a human in manipulating heavy loads. A guide acts as a frictionless rail which confines the load to a one-dimensional curve in its configuration space. In this paper we formulate the problem of designing guides to effectively assist the human, and we apply the formulation to two types of materials handling tasks: pushing a heavy cart and single-arm reaching motions. Guides may be implemented by fixed rails or programmable constraint machines. Initial experiments with humans suggest the potential benefits of guided manipulation.
 
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