The goal of the project is to investigate new features or devices for teleoperated control and man—machine interfaces, with the aim to improve the efficiency and productivity in a real task. The telepresence project here reported has been realized jointly by the Robotics Laboratory of CESI and the Robotics Laboratory of the Milan Polytechnic. We have fuse, in this application, different technologies coming from the remote control field and virtual reality technology, trying to maintain the system simple and cheap. The real task application used as reference for the project has been a robotized mechanical blade, built on a tracked mobile platform, with an on board VME based controller. The system has been equipped with a stereo vision tool, a system for position and orientation computing and other on—board sensors. A control architecture implementing remote human supervision and on—board security check has been realized using a self made telepresence system with hea3 mounted displays and head movement tracking system. This telepresence technology could be applied in several fields and for several purposes; in our activity range we have remarked practical application both in underwater teleoperated vehicles and in live line inspection and maintenance systems, for high voltage lines. Several test series have been carried out, in order to test the efficiency of the teleoperated system and the efficacy of man— machine interface. These tests, that have concerned the areas of navigation, manipulation and visual inspection, have showed benefits that a teleoperated system can obtain from a special tool devoted to integrate different sensor technologies and features, with the human sensorial apparatus.
Keywords: telepresence technology, teleoperated control, man—machine interfaces, head—mounted displays