Kenneth Salisbury -- Talk Abstract

Touching and Being Touched: Robot Hands, Arms and Haptic Interfaces

Kenneth Salisbury, Ph.D.
Principal Research Scientist
MIT Dept. of Mechanical Engineering and
Artificial Intelligence Laboratory


During the past 15 years at MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory our group's research has focused on the development of devices that physically interact with the real world. More recently our work has addressed the development of haptic interfaces which allow users to feel the mechanical properties of remote and virtual environments. Common to these dual application areas, robotics and haptics, is the development of devices that can sense and exert forces on the environment and humans. It has been found that performance in terms of force dynamic range and bandwidth has been of more value than mechanism complexity.

This talk will focus on the lessons we have learned about how to build and utilize high performance force controllable devices to extend human capabilities. The design philosophy that has evolved will be illustrated with examples including the MIT WAM arm, the PHANToM haptic interface and the MIT Black Falcon surgical robot. I will also speculate a bit on the coming convergence of virtual and remote manipulation for training, performance enhancement and enabling of physical immersion in remote and virtual physical task environments.

Diego Ruspini