Model Based Teleoperation to Eliminate Feedback Delay NSF Grant BCS89-01352 - 3rd Report
We are conducting research in the area of teleoperation with feedback delay. Significant delays occur when performing space teleoperation from the earth as well as in subsea teleoperation where the operator is typically on a surface vessel and communication is via acoustic links. These delays make teleoperation extremely difficult and lead to very low operator productivity. We have combined computer graphics with manipulator programming to provide a solution to the delay problem. A teleoperator master arm is interfaced to a graphical simulation of the remote environment. Synthetic fixtures are used to guide the operators motions and to provide kinesthetic feedback. The operator's actions are monitored and used to generate symbolic motion commands for transmission to, and execution by, the remote slave robot. While much of a task proceeds error free, when an error does occur, the slave system transmits data back to the master environment where the operator can then experience the motion of the slave manipulator in actual task execution. We have also provided for the use of tools such as an impact wrench and a winch at the slave site. In all cases the tools are unencumbered by sensors; the slave uses a compliant instrumented wrist to monitor tool operation in terms of resulting motions and reaction forces.