Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Dongjun Lee

Committee Members

William R. Hamel, Lynne E. Parker, Seddik M. Djouadi


This PhD dissertation consists of two major parts: collaborative haptic interaction (CHI) and bilateral teleoperation over the Internet. For the CHI, we propose a novel hybrid peer-to-peer (P2P) architecture including the shared virtual environment (SVE) simulation, coupling between the haptic device and VE, and P2P synchronization control among all VE copies. This framework guarantees the interaction stability for all users with general unreliable packet-switched communication network which is the most challenging problem for CHI control framework design. This is achieved by enforcing our novel \emph{passivity condition} which fully considers time-varying non-uniform communication delays, random packet loss/swapping/duplication for each communication channel. The topology optimization method based on graph algebraic connectivity is also developed to achieve optimal performance under the communication bandwidth limitation. For validation, we implement a four-user collaborative haptic system with simulated unreliable packet-switched network connections. Both the hybrid P2P architecture design and the performance improvement due to the topology optimization are verified.

In the second part, two novel hybrid passive bilateral teleoperation control architectures are proposed to address the challenging stability and performance issues caused by the general Internet communication unreliability (e.g. varying time delay, packet loss, data duplication, etc.). The first method--Direct PD Coupling (DPDC)--is an extension of traditional PD control to the hybrid teleoperation system. With the assumption that the Internet communication unreliability is upper bounded, the passive gain setting condition is derived and guarantees the interaction stability for the teleoperation system which interacts with unknown/unmodeled passive human and environment. However, the performance of DPDC degrades drastically when communication unreliability is severe because its feasible gain region is limited by the device viscous damping. The second method--Virtual Proxy Based PD Coupling (VPDC)--is proposed to improve the performance while providing the same interaction stability. Experimental and quantitative comparisons between DPDC and VPDC are conducted, and both interaction stability and performance difference are validated.

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