Robots are currently used in some applications to enhance human performance and it is expected that human/robot interactions will become more frequent in the future. In order to achieve effective human augmentation, the cooperation must be very intuitive to the human operator. This paper presents a variable admittance control approach to improve system intuitivity. The proposed variable admittance law is based on the inference of human intentions using desired velocity and acceleration. Stability issues are discussed and a controller design example is given. Finally, experimental results obtained with a full-scale prototype of an intelligent assist device are presented in order to demonstrate the performance of the algorithm.
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