An efficient haptic interface for a variable displacement pump controlled excavator
Elton, Mark David
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Human-machine interfaces influence both operator effectiveness and machine efficiency. Further immersion of the operator into the machine’s working environment gives the operator a better feel for the status of the machine and its working conditions. With this knowledge, operators can more efficiently control machines. The use of multi-modal HMIs involving haptics, sound, and visual feedback can immerse the operator into the machine’s environment and provide assistive clues about the state of the machine. This thesis develops a realistic excavator model that mimics a mini-excavator’s dynamics and soil interaction during digging tasks. A realistic graphical interface is written that exceeds the quality of current academic simulators. The graphical interface and new HMI are placed together with a model of the excavator’s mechanical and hydraulic dynamics into an operator workstation. Two coordinated control schemes are developed on an haptic display for a mini-excavator and preliminary tests are run to measure increases in operator effectiveness and machine efficiency.