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Control of robot arm with virtual environment via the Internet

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4 Author(s)
Šafarič, R. ; Inst. for Robotics, Univ. of Maribor, Slovenia ; Sinjur, S. ; Žalik, B. ; Parkin, R.M.

Many enterprises experience difficulty in training people to work with expensive equipment, which is needed for carrying out profitable work tasks (e.g., production line robots). Similar problems are found when work is of a complex and safety-critical nature (e.g., nuclear environments, explosive placement, surgery). A common problem faced by educational institutions concerns the limited availability of expensive robotics equipment, with which students in the didactic program can work, in order to acquire valuable "hands on" experience. This paper describes a method of education and training involving off-line usage of virtual reality environments for task planning. When tasks are developed to the satisfaction of the trainee, they are exported to remote physical hardware, via the Internet, for real-world execution. Development of the system and the training experiments is discussed, along with some of the issues raised for telerobotics and solutions to the problem of detecting collisions in the virtual world. The approach has been shown to be viable, and increases the education and training possibilities for key workers while maintaining a low cost of ownership. The downtime of mission critical equipment is minimized while the gaining of valuable experience is maximized.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:91 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

Mar 2003

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