Robotic Assistance by Impedance Compensation for Hand Movements While Manual Welding

Mustafa Suphi Erden, Aude Billard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
339 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper, we present a robotic assistance scheme which allows for impedance compensation with stiffness, damping, and mass parameters for hand manipulation tasks and we apply it to manual welding. The impedance compensation does not assume a preprogrammed hand trajectory. Rather, the intention of the human for the hand movement is estimated in real time using a smooth Kalman filter. The movement is restricted by compensatory virtual impedance in the directions perpendicular to the estimated direction of movement. With airbrush painting experiments, we test three sets of values for the impedance parameters as inspired from impedance measurements with manual welding. We apply the best of the tested sets for assistance in manual welding and perform welding experiments with professional and novice welders. We contrast three conditions: 1) welding with the robot's assistance; 2) with the robot when the robot is passive; and 3) welding without the robot. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the assistance through quantitative measures of both task performance and perceived user's satisfaction. The performance of both the novice and professional welders improves significantly with robotic assistance compared to welding with a passive robot. The assessment of user satisfaction shows that all novice and most professional welders appreciate the robotic assistance as it suppresses the tremors in the directions perpendicular to the movement for welding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2459-2472
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Cybernetics
Issue number11
Early online date7 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Assistive technology
  • man machine systems
  • manual welding
  • physical human-robot interaction
  • robotic assistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Information Systems
  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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