Sumary of Walking with coffee is a little-understood feat of physics:
- “While humans possess a natural, or gifted, ability to interact with complex objects, our understanding of those interactions — especially at a quantitative level, is next to zero,” said ASU Professor Ying-Cheng Lai, an Arizona State University electrical engineering professor.
- A new paper published in Physical Review Applied, “Synchronous Transition in Complex Object Control,” originated with Wallace as part of his senior design project in electrical engineering, supervised by Lai.
- Wallace has received an NSF Graduate Fellowship and now is a doctoral student in ASU’s School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering.
- The ASU team’s research expands on a ground-breaking, virtual experimental study recently conducted by researchers at Northeastern University, using the coffee-cup-holding paradigm and adding a rolling ball, to examine how humans manipulate a complex object.
- The Northeastern study showed that the participants tend to select either a low-frequency or a high-frequency strategy — rhythmic motion of the cup — to handle a complex object.
- “Since both the low- and high-frequencies are effective, it’s conceivable that some participants in the virtual experiment switched strategies,” said Wallace.