A Pragmatic Approach to Bi-Directional Impedance Reflection Telemanipulation Control: Design and User Study

Robin Lieftink*, Sara Falcone, Christophe Van Der Walt, Jan Van Erp, Douwe Dresscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Force feedback generally increases the effectiveness of execution and sense of embodiment on telemanipulation systems. However, systems with force feedback are vulnerable to time delays, reducing their transparency and stability. In this letter, we implement a bi-directional impedance reflection controller, a concept that was presented already in 1989 by Blake Hannaford Hannaford et al. 1989 but was never fully implemented. In this method, the simplified impedances of the operator and the environment are reflected back to the remote robot and haptic interface, respectively. A trajectory predictor is added to compensate for the delayed motion. We then evaluated the effectiveness of the system in a user study, comparing it to a system with a classical bilateral impedance controller with passivity layers. Three time delay groups (0, 10, and 20 ms one-way delay) of 10 participants each executed different tasks with both controllers. The results show that the bi-directional impedance reflection controller performs significantly better in the 10 ms and 20 ms time delay groups, in terms of task performance, user experience and sense of embodiment. We conclude that this study is the first to show that bi-directional impedance reflection can be effectively used with time delays of at least 20 ms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3617-3624
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and automation letters
Issue number4
Early online date22 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2024


  • 2024 OA procedure
  • human factors and human-in-the-loop
  • Telerobotics and teleoperation
  • haptics and haptic interfaces


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