Maintenance of power generation, transmission and distribution equipment represents a major task. Our goal is to decrease the down time as well as to remove maintenance crews from potential danger, and in particular from contaminated areas. To this end, we use teleoperated equipment coupled with a supervision system that can enable the operators to be `tele-present' on the scene. We have set up a development program based on various technological components such as: CAD systems to study the feasibility of the tasks and for 3D monitoring, stereoscopic cameras, etc. Further development of virtual reality techniques should lead to high-performance interfaces or improvements on those now in existence, thereby providing the possibility of better `deep' teleoperation systems. It is very important, however, not to underestimate the technical and physiological constraints of such systems which risk introducing extra fatigue and discomfort for the operator. This article presents a number of studies and experiments conducted with a view to defining a system for stereoscopic, visual `tele-presence' which can be used for remote operation of robotic arms.