“Evaluation of Subjective and Objective Performance Metrics for Haptically Controlled Robotic Systems”

Authors: Cong Dung Pham, Huynh Nhat Trinh Phan and Pål J. From,
Affiliation: Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Reference: 2014, Vol 35, No 3, pp. 147-157.

Keywords: Performance evaluation, controller design, human-robot interface, mobile manipulation

Abstract: This paper studies in detail how different evaluation methods perform when it comes to describing the performance of haptically controlled mobile manipulators. Particularly, we investigate how well subjective metrics perform compared to objective metrics. To find the best metrics to describe the performance of a control scheme is challenging when human operators are involved; how the user perceives the performance of the controller does not necessarily correspond to the directly measurable metrics normally used in controller evaluation. It is therefore important to study whether there is any correspondence between how the user perceives the performance of a controller, and how it performs in terms of directly measurable metrics such as the time used to perform a task, number of errors, accuracy, and so on. To perform these tests we choose a system that consists of a mobile manipulator that is controlled by an operator through a haptic device. This is a good system for studying different performance metrics as the performance can be determined by subjective metrics based on feedback from the users, and also as objective and directly measurable metrics. The system consists of a robotic arm which provides for interaction and manipulation, which is mounted on a mobile base which extends the workspace of the arm. The operator thus needs to perform both interaction and locomotion using a single haptic device. While the position of the on-board camera is determined by the base motion, the principal control objective is the motion of the manipulator arm. This calls for intelligent control allocation between the base and the manipulator arm in order to obtain intuitive control of both the camera and the arm. We implement three different approaches to the control allocation problem, i.e., whether the vehicle or manipulator arm actuation is applied to generate the desired motion. The performance of the different control schemes is evaluated, and our findings strongly suggest that objective metrics better describe the performance of the controller, even though there is a clear correlation between subjective and objective performance metrics.

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  title={{Evaluation of Subjective and Objective Performance Metrics for Haptically Controlled Robotic Systems}},
  author={Pham, Cong Dung and Phan, Huynh Nhat Trinh and From, Pål J.},
  journal={Modeling, Identification and Control},
  publisher={Norwegian Society of Automatic Control}