Comparing Alternate Modes of Teleoperation for Constrained Tasks

Recommended citation: Christopher E. Mower, Wolfgang Merkt, and Sethu Vijayakumar. Comparing Alternate Modes of Teleoperation for Constrained Tasks. Proc. IEEE 15th International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE), 2019.

Teleoperation of heavy machinery in industry often requires operators to be in close proximity to the plant and issue commands on a per-actuator level using multiple joystick input devices. However, this is non-intuitive and makes achieving desired job properties a challenging task requiring operators to complete costly and extensive training. Despite this, operator fatigue is common with implications for personal safety, project timeliness, cost, and job quality. While full automation is not yet achievable due to unpredictability and the dynamic nature of the environment and task, shared control paradigms allow operators to issue high-level commands in an intuitive, task-informed control space while having the robot optimize for achieving desired job properties. In this paper, we compare a number of modes of teleoperation, exploring both the number of dimensions of the control input as well as the most intuitive control spaces. Our experimental evaluations of the performance metrics were based on quantifying the difficulty of tasks based on the well known Fitts’ law as well as a measure of how well constraints affecting the task performance were met. Our experiments show that higher performance is achieved when humans submit commands in low-dimensional task spaces as opposed to joint space manipulations.

[ pdf] [ video] [ DOI: 10.1109/COASE.2019.8843265] [ arXiv]

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