Dynamic primitives in human-object physical interaction

Humans are capable of skillfully manipulating complex objects with their own internal dynamics, such as moving a sloshing cup of coffee without spilling. How humans are able to select and execute movement trajectories from the infinite possible choices is an open question, however. One hypothesis is that human controller plans motion in terms of dynamic primitives, more basic subunits from which all movements are composed. This project seeks to examine the role of dynamic primitives in human interaction with simple nonrigid objects, especially submovements and mechanical impedance. In particular, we direct subjects to interact with a dynamic object in a virtual environment via a robotic arm programmed to mimic the dynamics of a pendulum on a cart.


Davi da Silva