Development of an immersive interface for robot teleoperation
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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017. In this paper, a novel interface of human-robot interaction has been developed to provide enhanced user experience for teleoperators. The interface has been implemented and tested on a Baxter robot platform and it can be easily adapted to other robot platforms. The main objective of this work is to provide a teleoperator immersive experience when controlling a telerobot arm by enabling the user to see and feel what the robot sees and feels from a first person point of view. This objective has been achieved by our designed interface integrating a haptic feedback device, a virtual reality headset, and an RGB-D camera. An operator can manipulate a robotic arm and receive force feedback information about interactions between the robot’s grippers, as well as the robot’s environment, whilst viewing the captured visual information of the robot’s workspace, on the screen of the virtual reality headset. A servo motor driving platform has been designed as a new robot head to manipulate the camera on top of it, such that a teleoperator is able to control the pose of the camera in a natural manner via the wearable virtual reality headset. The orientation of the built-in inertial measurement unit (IMU) of the virtual reality headset is used to directly command the angles of the head platform on which the camera is mounted. The operator will have an immersive and in-depth experience when manipulating the robotic arm. Extensive tests with a variety of users have been carried out to evaluate the design in this work with quantified analysis.
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