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Using a Robotic Teleoperation System for Haptic Exploration Open Access


Other title
assistive technology
people with physical disabilities
haptic exploration
tool use
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Becerra, Lina M
Supervisor and department
Adams, Kim (Rehabilitation Medicine)
Examining committee member and department
Wiebe, Sandra (Psychology)
Wiart, Lesley (Physical Therapy)
Phelan, Shanon (Occupational Therapy)
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
Rehabilitation Science
Date accepted
Graduation date
2017-11:Fall 2017
Master of Science
Degree level
The properties of an object, such as size, shape or texture, can determine how the object can be used as a tool. Children learn how to use objects as tools throughout their childhood, this allows them to meet task demands in an adaptive manner. In order for individuals to determine which objects can be used as tools for different tasks, they must perform exploratory actions that include reaching, grasping or lifting to perceive an object’s properties. When individuals are not able to perform exploratory actions due to physical disabilities they may not be able to explore or perceive object properties and may not be able to make judgments about tools. Haptic robots controlled through a teleoperation system allow a person to move and manipulate objects at a distance and could be a means through which people with physical disabilities can explore object properties using a joystick-like device. Two studies were conducted to determine if a haptic robotic system allowed adults, typically developing children and an adult with disabilities to recognize object properties in order to use the objects as tools. The studies also compared how object manipulation differed when participants used the robotic system compared to when they used their hands. A Function Judgment Task based on Kalagher (2015) and Klatzky, Lederman, & Manikinen (2005), was replicated where participants made judgments about tool use in two conditions: 1) using their hands and 2) using a teleoperation system with haptic feedback. Participants were able to perform exploratory actions with the system and with their hands that provided them with haptic information to make accurate judgments about tool use. Results showed that the overall the performance of adults without disabilities, typically developing children and the adult with disabilities was similar or improved when they used the robotic teleoperation system compared to when they used their hands.
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