Sensory Feedback Implementation for a Teleoperated, Master-Slave Robotic Manipulator
AuthorKraus, Gregory Thomas
AdvisorWang, Eric L.
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A teleoperated, master-slave, sensory feedback control system was developed to increase the telepresence a user experiences throughout manipulating a five degree of freedom robotic actuator in the Mars University Rover Challenge (Mars URC), as well as to replace another five degree of freedom manipulator from the 2009 Mars URC. Telepresence, the notion of feeling present in the surroundings of a remote object, is aided by the development of visual, tactile, and auditory feedback stimuli. Visual information was transmitted to the operator via a board camera, mounted onboard the robotic arm, that continuously streams a video signal into a receiving television, while status indicators allow the user to conceptualize the torque characteristics experienced by each degree of freedom on the robotic arm. Haptic, or tactile, feedback is provided to the user through torque limitation and stop motion control; whereas, auditory information is transmitted by a series of tonal indicators based on the loading values experienced by the actuator's end effector.Results for the implemented feedback system, although subjective, were promising, as the operator maintained a better overall awareness of the robotic arms's surroundings, as compared with no feedback stimuli and the experiences of the 2009 Mars URC, and successfully completed tasks similar in nature to the 2010 Mars University Rover Challenge. For instance, the robotic manipulator was able to lift and actuate masses in excess of 300 g (0.66 lb), when the rules and regulations for the Mars URC specify that only masses between 25 g and 250 g (0.55 lb) are allowed to be manipulated. Furthermore, the developed robotic arm successfully manipulated nine out of ten buttons, switches, and plugs that were created in a similar configuration to pictures from the 2010 Mars URC.Ultimately, the developed master-slave system was more intuitive than the 2009 Mars URC robotic arm controlling scheme, and the sensory feedback stimuli aided the operator when determining the appropriate levels of torque for the gripping mechanism. Furthermore, the main goals of maintaining a high level of telepresence and establishing an intuitive control system that successfully accomplishes the tasks proposed throughout the Mars URC was accomplished.