Anuradha Ranasinghe

anuradha.ranasingheDr Anuradha Ranasinghe, PhD, BSc





Anuradha Ranasinghe is a Ph.D student under the supervision of Thrishantha Nanayakkara and Kasper Althoefer. She is focusing on design and investigate haptic communicational interfaces (REINS) between a human agent and a mobile robot guide.

Anuradha Ranasinghe received her bachelors degree at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka.

After graduating, she worked for Sri Lankan universities.

Description of Research

She is trying to understand how human guiders learn adaptive controllers to generate haptic signals to blindfolded followers via hard/soft reins. The insights will be applied to develop a robot that could guide firefighters in a low visibility environment.

She conducted human demonstrations to use a hard rein to guide blindfolded followers with auditory distraction to extract salient features of guiding using hard reins. Based on numerical simulations and experimental systems identification based on demonstrations from pairs of human subjects, she was able to show that,

  1. The relationship between the orientation difference between the follower and the guider, and the lateral swing patterns of the hard rein by the guider can be explained by a novel 3 rd order auto regressive predictive controller.
  2. Also, the follower experience learning for a optimal stable state-dependent novel 2 nd order auto regressive  reactive control policies.
  3. By modeling the two party voluntary movement dynamics using a virtual damped inertial model, the mutual trust between two parties.

In the future, we plan to uncover the cost functions that are minimized by the duo, during learning to track a path. This would help us to develop a reward based learning algorithm to enable a mobile robot to continuously improve the controller while interacting with a human follower. Moreover, we plan to have a closer look at how the guider maybe adaptively combining a reactive controller with a predictive one, in order to stabilize learning. It will also be interesting to explore for broader factors affecting the mutual trust, so that predictive action can be taken to maintain a good mutual trust level within the follower in the context of guiding.

The motivation of this study is to implement the proposed novel control policy on a robot when the human is guided by a robot. In future. Our intention is to develop a haptic based guidance algorithm that a robot could use to optimally facilitate human voluntary movements in a low visibility environment. In the future, we would study other possible modes of haptic feedback such as cutaneous feedback through a wireless link, and haptic feedback through a soft rein.

The novel controller extracted based on human demonstrations can be tested on a human-robot interaction scenario to guide a visually impaired person in various applications like fire fighting, search and rescue, medical surgery, etc.

Anuradha’s research is an EPSRC project called REINS.



Anuradha Ranasinghe, Prokar Dasgupta, Jaques Penders,  Kaspar Althoefer, Thrishantha Nanayakkara, “A Two Party Haptic Guidance Controller Via a Hard Rein”, IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2013.

Anuradha Ranasinghe, Prokar Dasgupta, Jaques Penders,  Kaspar Althoefer, Thrishantha Nanayakkara, “An Optimal State Dependent Haptic Guidance Controller Via a Hard Rein”, IEEE International Conference on System, Man, Cybernetics (SMC), 2013