Haptic guidance on demand: A grip-force based scheduling of guidance forces

Jan Smisek, Winfred Mugge, Jeroen B.J. Smeets, Marinus M. van Paassen, Andre Schiele

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In haptic shared control systems (HSC), a fixed strength of guidance force equates to a fixed level of control authority, which can be insufficient for complex tasks. An adaptable control authority based on operator input can allow the HSC system to better assist the operator under varied conditions. In this paper, we experimentally investigate (n = 8) an adaptable authority HSC system that provides the operator with a direct way to adjust the control authority based on applied grip force. This system can serve as an intuitive 'manual override' function in case of HSC system malfunction. In a position tracking task, we explore two opposite approaches to adapt the control authority: increasing versus decreasing guidance strength with operator grip. These approaches were compared with unassisted control and two levels of fixed-level haptic guidance. Results show that the grip-adaptable approach allowed the operators to increase performance over unassisted control and over a weak guidance. At the same time, the approach substantially reduced the operator physical control effort required to cope with HSC system disturbances. Predictions based on the formalized model of the complete human-in-the-loop system corresponded to the experimental results, implying that such validated formalization can be used for model-based analysis and design of guidance systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-266
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Haptics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


FundersFunder number
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek
Stichting voor de Technische Wetenschappen
Ministry of Economic Affairs


    • Dynamic Systems and Control
    • Force
    • Force measurement
    • Haptic interfaces
    • Human Performance
    • Neuromuscular
    • System Design and Analysis
    • Trajectory
    • Dynamic systems and control
    • Human performance
    • System design and analysis


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