The operating efficiency of teleoperation under stereoscopic video images has been reported to be inferior to that of using the naked eye at a real working environment. A human operator working at an actual work location is aided by force, tactile, and acoustic senses in addition to vision. Conventional teleoperated robots lack sense information, except vision, which may explain operators’ inefficient cognition of the working space. Therefore, using stereoscopic video images, we intend to clarify effects of force and acoustic feedback information on the performance of the teleoperation work. Experiment 1 produces a system that can acquire touch-information by the site of the master robot; it elucidates the influence of force and acoustic feedback information in work. Human operators are required to pick up a cylindrical object and insert it into a hole. The experiment shows that feedback of simple touch-information by force and acoustic feedback was not effective to shorten the completion-time. Experiment 2, in force feedback conditions, directs a user to search a hole by sliding a cylindrical object on its surface. Experimental results indicate that the working efficiency was improved by force information using a sliding sense. Experiment 3 investigated effects of sound when the cylindrical object was oriented such that it could be inserted in a hole and the hole was approached in a state of contact. Experimental results demonstrate that working efficiency was not improved by presentation of acoustic information.
It has been reported that the operation efficiency during teleoperation under stereoscopic video images is inferior to that of using the naked eye on the spot in real working environments. One of the reasons to explain this might be the smaller amount of information which is provided to the subject when working under stereoscopic images compared with that gotten by direct viewing in the real working environment. In our daily lives, we obtain information through various senses; the visual sense, acoustical sense, tactile sense and so on. The smaller amount of information causes a low working performance in the teleoperation. Some papers showed the improvement of operation efficiency when the subject got acoustic and/or tactile feedback as well as visual feedback in a simulated environment. We investigated to clarify the effects of force and acoustic feedback information with stereoscopic video images to subjects on the performance of the teleoperation using an actual robot. In experiment 1, we used the teleoperated system in which subjects could control the robot arm (the slave manipulator) to pick up cylindrical objects and to insert them in a hole by operating the input-and-tactile-information-display-system (the master manipulator). The results of experiment 1 showed that the force and acoustic information did not improve the working performance, and rather interfered with it. In experiment 2, we investigated the operation efficiency under conditions that force or acoustic feedback was given in the teleoperated work by eliminating contact information acquirable from vision. As a result of the experiment, force and acoustic information was not an effective way to shorten the completion time when the actual teleoperated robot was used.