Date of Award

Summer 2010

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Physics


Physical Sciences

Committee Chair

Dr. Sergey V. Drakunov

Committee Member

Dr. Mahmut Reyhanoglu

Committee Member

Dr. John Hughes


The development of models for a human-in-the-loop with hardware is an area of ongoing research. The ability to simulate a human-in-the-loop with hardware provides a platform for better understanding the dynamics of human and machine cognition. A human-in-the-loop model provides information that can be used to design more efficient human interfaces and smarter autonomous assistant controllers. This can make a complex task such as flying an aircraft safer and more accessible. This thesis explores different possibilities for human operator models to be modeled in the loop with a vehicle. A human is modeled as a linear state feedback controller in the loop with the task of controlling a simple solid ball. The human arm is modeled controlling a joystick as the human is considered to control the ball with a joystick. Nonlinear sliding mode observers are developed to estimate the gains of a feedback control law and nonlinear sliding mode observers are developed to estimate the torques on the shoulder, elbow, and joystick joints. The nonlinear observers are simulated on a human-in-the-loop system to show the accuracy of the observers.