Remotely controlled or tele-operated robots are playing an increasing role in military, law enforcement and industrial operations. In order for a remote operator to rapidly and efficiently control an unmanned vehicle (UV), the operator must be able to view the robot surroundings as if they were actually present at the location of the robot. The current limiting factor to providing this level of presence is the visual display utilized by the operator, which for portability, size and weight is optimally a head-worn display (HWD). When in addition local situational awareness of the operator must be maximized, the HWD should be of the optical see-through (OST) type. The ideal requirements for the OST-HWD for UV-control include: a large binocular display field-of-view, methods to prevent development of cyber sickness and appropriate brightness for use in all relevant lighting conditions. Limitations of current OST-HWDs are reviewed, and a new type of OST-HWD is described, which offers significant advantages for remote control of UVs. An initial prototype has been constructed, and its performance is quantified. The prototype provides a large display FOV, large eye box, and high brightness. It uses low-cost COTS components. When the operator of the unmanned vehicle must use their hands for other purposes, a hands-free control interface for both the display and robot is highly desirable. An implementation of a hands-free control interface based on eye tracking is described.
Mikhail Belenkii, Lawrence Sverdrup, Larry DiRuscio, and Yoshi Taketomi, "Head-worn display for control of unmanned vehicles," Proc. SPIE 10195, Unmanned Systems Technology XIX, 101950U (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 13, 2017; Published: 5 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2264060.
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