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Proceedings Paper

A Remote Control System For SURVEYOR
Author(s): Wayne S. Thayer; Jack W. Lewis
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Paper Abstract

SURVEYOR is a mobile tracked vehicle designed for operation in hazardous environments. This paper describes the design and implementation of a microprocessor-based remote control system developed for this vehicle. The main objective in designing the remote control system was to allow the vehicle to be controlled from a number of joysticks and switches mounted on a supervisory console. Both the supervisory console and the vehicle were to be located within an industrial environment, up to one quarter mile apart. Audio and stereoscopic video returned to the supervisory station would allow an operator to "teleposition" himself to the vehicle's environment. An emphasis was placed on finding a solution which was robust, low power, and expandable, while still being relatively inexpensive to develop. Future expansions which might be added include increased control information to be sent to and interpreted by the vehicle, increased digital data to be sent from the vehicle, and provisions for autonomous operation.. The solution meets all of these objectives well. An 8-bit, single board micro-computer, having a 16-channel analog-to-digital converter, over 100 input/output latches, and having a current draw of only 100 milliamps was selected as the heart of the control system onboard the vehicle. In addition to the single board microcomputer, a custom designed signal conditioning and control interface was required to house active filters, relays, and power transistors. Off-the-shelf, variable-speed motor controllers and radio frequency modems were used to complete the vehicle electronics package. Another 8-bit microcomputer in the supervisory console interprets the joystick and switch settings at the console, sends this information to the vehicle, and overlays the digital data received from the vehicle onto the video images received from the vehicle.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 February 1987
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0727, Mobile Robots I, (25 February 1987); doi: 10.1117/12.937780
Show Author Affiliations
Wayne S. Thayer, ARCTEC Engineering, Inc. (United States)
Jack W. Lewis, ARCTEC Engineering, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0727:
Mobile Robots I
Nelson Marquina; William J. Wolfe, Editor(s)

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