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Munich - Kobe

German - Japanese Collaboration in Computational Neuroscience

Impedance behavior of the human arm during energy exchange: from human experiments over models to robotics
(funded by BMBF and JST)

Stiffness control of the arm is one of the most important parameters of human movement: It ensures that a secure and stable interaction between humans and their environment is possible. The theory of impedance control, introduced in the 80s by Hogan, mathematically addresses the determination and control of optimal continuity as well as attenuation in movement. Since the 1980's, human arm stiffness is measured in different constellations and the results show that - depending on the task - humans specifically use stiffness control. However, it is still unknown how this works during fast movements with energy exchange, e.g. hammering. In this project, stiffness control is investigated in humans in situations in which fast arm movements are connected with a non-negligible energy exchange. Based on these measurements, models of human impedance control will be developed, which then serve as the basis for novel types of robot controls with optimized contact movements. The results are verified in demonstration scenarios. Within the cooperation between the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) and the Technische Universität München (TUM) both partners will be involved in stiffness measurements. Subsequently, the NICT will mainly focus on modeling, while the TUM will develop data processing methods that are based on machine learning.

The following scientists take part in this collaboration:

  • Prof. Alois Knoll, Technische Universität München
  • Prof. Patrick van der Smagt, Technische Universität München
  • Ganesh Gowrishankar, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Kobe, Japan
  • Tsuyoshi Ikegami, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Kobe, Japan


German Coordinator:

Prof. Alois Knoll

Technische Universität München      
Institut für Informatik
Boltzmann-Strasse 3
85748 Garching

Tel.: +49 (0) 89-289-18104