The paper presents active impedance control for robotic comanipulation tasks, enabling virtual contact interactions. Computed torque control in the task space powered by multiple-output active observers (AOBs) is proposed, enhancing haptic perception. Forces and force derivatives are artificially measured from position data around an equilibrium point that can move with time. Control techniques to deal with critical impedances are introduced, taking into account the noise distribution along the system. Stochastic design is discussed. A dynamic model of the redundant lightweight 7-DOF WAM™ arm is derived and evaluated, playing a key role in the control design. Experiments for small and high impedances are presented, highlighting merits and limitations of the approach. A comparative study between active and non-active impedance control is made.

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