Inflatable Humanoid Cybernetic Avatar for Physical Human–Robot Interaction
Ryuma Niiyama*, , Masahiro Ikeda* , and Young Ah Seong**
*Graduate School of Science and Technology, Meiji University
1-1-1 Higashi-Mita, Tama-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa 214-8571, Japan
**Faculty of Engineering and Design, Hosei University
In a digital twin, a humanoid robot can be the counterpart of a simulated agent in the real world. In addition, a human, virtual avatar, and avatar robot might constitute digital triplets. We propose an inflatable cybernetic avatar (CA) with a humanoid upper body using an inflatable structure that can represent gestures. This inflatable CA is much lighter, safer, and cheaper than conventional humanoid robots and can be folded when deflated. These properties are ideal for physical human–robot interaction (pHRI) and allow real-time collection of human behavior through interaction. In the experiment, basic movements such as nodding and raising arms were measured using motion capture systems. This paper demonstrates the proposed inflatable CA in a hybrid event. We also conducted an experiment to measure the touch interactions using tactile sensors attached to the fabric of the inflatable part. A psychologically secure inflatable humanoid CA is a promising platform for physical interaction experiments.
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