SUMMARY OF 2014 COMPUTATIONAL SENSING AND MEDICAL ROBOTICS REU PROJECTS
“How do Humans Synchronize Movements with an External Rhythm”
In this REU project the student is performing system identification analysis of a human performing a tapping task, in which the human must keep pace with a “jittering metronome”. The idea is to understand how a human follows the rhythm of a leader in a task that involves a temporal component. This is relevant to a wide range of human/robot interaction projects where precise timing is critical. By building models of human sensorimotor synchronization, we can build better robot control algorithms for interacting with people during tasks that require precise timing.
“Redevelopment of a Hybrid Tracking System”
This REU project involves the creation of electronics for a hybrid tracking system that integrates electromagnetic tracking (EMT) with an inertial measurement unit (IMU). The intellectual merit of this work is that it combines, for the first time, the following two features: (1) hardware-level synchronization of the EMT and IMU sensors, and (2) an array-based EMT system with frequency-division multiplexing (FDM). Previous systems have either integrated off-the-shelf EMT and IMU units, which does not allow sufficiently precise synchronization of signals, or have used custom hardware but adopted time-division multiplexing (TDM), which significantly reduces the resulting data rate. The end result is that we hope to achieve the first hybrid tracking system that does not require a line-of-sight and is fast, accurate, and robust to electromagnetic interference.