An uncontrolled manifold analysis of arm joint variability in virtual planar position and orientation telemanipulation

Jacopo Buzzi, Elena De Momi, Ilana Nisky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: In teleoperated robot-assisted tasks, the user interacts with manipulators to finely control remote tools. Manipulation of robotic devices, characterized by specific kinematic and dynamic proprieties, is a complex task for the human sensorimotor system due to the inherent biomechanical and neuronal redundancies that characterize the human arm and its control. We investigate how master devices with different kinematics structures and how different task constraints influence users capabilities in exploiting arm redundancy. Methods: A virtual teleoperation workbench was designed and the arm kinematics of seven users was acquired during the execution of two planar virtual tasks, involving either the control of position only or position-orientation of a tool. Using the uncontrolled manifold analysis of arm joint variability, we estimated the logarithmic ratio between the task irrelevant and the task relevant manifolds (Rv). Results: The Rv values obtained in the position-orientation task were higher than in the position only task, while no differences were found between the master devices. A modulation of Rv was found through the execution of the position task and a positive correlation was found between task performance and redundancy exploitation. Conclusion: Users exploited additional portions of arm redundancy when dealing with the tool orientation. The Rv modulation seems influenced by the task constraints and by the users possibility of reconfiguring the arm position. Significance: This paper advances the general understanding of the exploitation of arm redundancy in complex tasks, and can improve the development of future robotic devices.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number8370066
Pages (from-to)391-402
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Redundancy exploitation
  • teleoperation
  • uncontrolled manifold (UCM)

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering


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