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Immersive 3-D teleoperation of a search and rescue robot using a head-mounted display

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2 Author(s)
Henrique Martins ; Institute for Systems and Robotics, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal ; Rodrigo Ventura

This paper proposes an alternative approach to common teleoperation methods found in search and rescue (SAR) robots. Using a head mounted display (HMD) the operator is capable of perceiving rectified images of the robot world in 3-D, as transmitted by a pair of stereo cameras onboard the robot. The HMD is also equipped with an integrated head-tracker, which permits controlling the robot motion in such a way that the cameras follow the operator's head movements, thus providing an immersive sensation to him. We claim that this approach is a more intuitive and less error prone teleoperation of the robot. The proposed system was evaluated by a group of subjects, and the results suggest that it may yield significant benefits to the effectiveness of the SAR mission. In particular, the user's depth perception and situational awareness improved significantly when using the HMD, and their performance during a simulated SAR operation was also enhanced, both in terms of operation time and on successful identification of objects of interest.

Published in:

2009 IEEE Conference on Emerging Technologies & Factory Automation

Date of Conference:

22-25 Sept. 2009