This paper presents a novel user interface (UI) for coordinated rate control (CRC) of an excavator end effector using traditional hardware. Coordinated control of an excavator end effector alleviates the cognitive load created by nonlinear arm dynamics on the excavator operator, allowing the operator to perform tasks more quickly and with fewer errors. A human subject experiment demonstrates the feasibility of excavator CRC using the traditional twin joystick setup, and compares operator performance between a CRC UI and traditional excavator UI. Performance of the CRC UI was statically equivalent to the performance of the traditional UI. When asked to self-report UI preference: 26 participants stated they preferred the CRC UI, 6 preferred the traditional UI, and 14 had no preference. Although the current iteration of the CRC UI offered no measurable performance improvements, a remapping of the CRC joystick inputs to the end effector motion could make the CRC UI more intuitive, lead to better performance metrics, and make hydraulic excavators safer, more efficient, and easier to use.

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