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Proceedings Paper

Experiments in augmented teleoperation for mobile robots: I
Author(s): Gary Witus; Shawn Hunt; R. Darrin Ellis
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Paper Abstract

Teleoperated mobile robots are beginning to be used for a variety of tasks that require movement in close quarters in the vicinity of moving and parked vehicles, buildings and other man-made structures, and the target object for inspection or manipulation. The robots must be close enough to deploy short-range sensors and manipulators, and must be able to maneuver without potentially damaging collisions. Teleoperation is fatiguing and stressful even without the requirement for close positioning. In cooperation with the TARDEC Robotic Mobility Laboratory (TRML), we are investigating approaches to reduce workload and improve performance through augmented teleoperation. Human-robot interfaces for teleoperation commonly provide two degrees-of-freedom (DoF) motion control with visual feedback from an on-board egocentric camera and no supplemental distance or orientation cueing. This paper reports on the results of preliminary experiments to assess the effects on man-machine task performance of several options for augmented teleoperation: (a) 3 DoF motion control (rotation and omni-directional translation) versus 2 DoF control (rotation and forward/reverse motion), (b) on-board egocentric camera versus fixed-position overwatch camera versus dual egocentric-and-overwatch cameras, and (c) presence or absence of distance and orientation visual cueing. We examined three dimensions of performance: completion time, spatial accuracy, and workspace area. We investigated effects on the expected completion time and on the variance in completion time. Spatial accuracy had three components: orientation, aimpoint, and distance. We collected performance under different task conditions: (a) three position-and-orientation tolerance or accuracy objectives, and (b) four travel distances between successive inspection points. We collected data from three subjects. We analyzed the main effects and conditional interaction effects among the teleoperation options and task conditions. We were able to draw some definitive conclusions regarding the relative performance of design alternatives, and conditions under which their performance degraded. We made some observations regarding operator behaviors, which suggested some potential augmented teleoperation enhancements.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 May 2007
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6561, Unmanned Systems Technology IX, 65610R (14 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.720850
Show Author Affiliations
Gary Witus, Turing Associates (United States)
Shawn Hunt, Turing Associates (United States)
R. Darrin Ellis, Wayne State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6561:
Unmanned Systems Technology IX
Grant R. Gerhart; Douglas W. Gage; Charles M. Shoemaker, Editor(s)

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