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Title: The design, analysis and evaluation of a humanoid robotic head
Author: Barker, Stephen
ISNI:       0000 0004 7661 3110
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2016
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Where robots interact directly with humans on a 'one-to-one' basis, it is often quite important for them to be emotionally acceptable, hence the growing interesting in humanoid robots. In some applications it is important that these robots do not just resemble a human being in appearance, but also move like a human being too, to make them emotionally acceptable - hence the interest in biomimetic humanoid robotics. The research described in this thesis is concerned with the design, analysis and evaluation of a biomimetic humanoid robotic head. It is biomimetic in terms of physical design - which is based around a simulated cervical spine, and actuation, which is achieved using pneumatic air muscles (PAMS). The primary purpose of the research, however, and the main original contribution, was to create a humanoid robotic head capable of mimicking complex non-purely rotational human head movements. These include a sliding front-to-back, lateral movement, and a sliding, side-to-side lateral movement. A number of different approaches were considered and evaluated, before finalising the design. As there are no generally accepted metrics in the literature regarding the full range of human head movements, the best benchmarks for comparison are the angular ranges and speeds of humans in terms on pitch (nod), roll (tilt) and yaw (rotate) were used for comparison, and these they were considered desired ranges for the robot. These measured up well in comparison in terms of angular speed and some aspects of range of human necks. Additionally, the lateral movements were measured during the nod, tilt and rotate movements, and established the ability of the robot to perform the complex lateral movements seen in humans, thus proving the benefits of the cervical spine approach. Finally, the emotional acceptance of the robot movements was evaluated against another (commercially made) robot and a human. This was a blind test, in that the (human) evaluators had no way of knowing whether they were evaluation a human or a robot. The tests demonstrated that on scales of Fake/Natural, Machinelike/Humanlike and Unconcsious/Conscious the robot the robot scored similarly to the human.
Supervisor: Crook, Nigel ; Hayatleh, Khaled ; Fellows, Neil Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral