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The purpose of this research is to develop an intuitive interface to control rescue robots. We propose a new image stabilization system for easy operation of rescue robots. A promising method to search victims in rubble, is the use of teleoperated rescue robots. In the rescue activities with such robots, operators remotely control the robots through images captured by cameras mounted on the robots. Since the orientation of the robots change intensively while they move in rubble, image stabilization is necessary so that the operators can search victims without suffering from fatigue nor motion sickness. However, the orientation changes of the rescue robots are so intensive that conventional methods may not be capable of stabilizing the camera images. In this paper, we propose a new image stabilization system which can cancel the camera motion due to the intensive changes of the robot’s orientation on an uneven terrain. After a preliminary experiment, a 3-DOF camera system was designed based on the newly proposed mechanism. To verify the performance of the camera system, we conducted three experiments. The result of the experiments confirmed that the proposed mechanism shows good performance in motion stabilization as well as good performance in tracking the commanded head motion. Finally, we verified that the camera system works properly even when it was mounted on a crawler running on an uneven terrain.
Date of Conference: 18-22 April 2005