Institut für
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High-Rate Haptic Teleoperation


Motivation

Teleoperation has a long history in the robotics community and numerous haptic teleoperation systems employing manipulators have been proposed in the literature. On the one hand, systems have been designed which employ commercial hardware and hence generally suffer from low update rates and high delays due to restrictions of commercial manipulator controllers and haptic device controllers. On the other hand, haptic teleoperation systems designed by research institutions often provide only few degrees of freedom. Our 6DoF haptic teleoperation system, however, combines the amenities of commercial hardware with a high performance distributed control architecture which enables us to achieve update rates of more than 2kHz and delays in the range of only 100 microseconds.

System Overview

Our haptic teleoperation system consists of a Sensable Phantom Premium 1.5 HighForce/6DoF haptic device (6 active DoFs), a 6DoF Staubli industrial manipulator (either RX 60 or RX90) with a slightly modified CS7B controller, and a 6D JR3 force-torque (100M40A3-I63 400N40) or 6D force-torque and 6D acceleration sensor (85M35A3-I40-D 200N12) respectively. While the joint position controllers of the slave run at a rate of 10kHz and force-torque values may be sampled at rates of up to 8kHz, the original driver of the haptic device merely provides update rates of 500Hz, 1kHz, and 2kHz and only supports Linux, Windows, and MacOS. However, when employing our driver fo the RTOS QNX Neutrino, a software timer can be used to generate other - i.e., especially higher - rates. Furthermore, our driver facilitates easy integration into robot control architectures which enables us to achieve very high update rates. Fig. 1 shows our experimental setup. If you are interested in further details on our implementation or theses on this project, please do not hesitate to contact Daniel Kubus or Ingo Weidauer.


teleoperation_small.jpg
Fig. 1 Hardware overview of our experimental setup.

Research

Up to now, we have conducted several experiments examining the effect of update rate on control stability and perceptual stability using simple control approaches. Further research will show whether significant performance gains with regard to perceptual and control stability can be achieved with update rates that are significantly higher than 2kHz. Our teleoperation system is currently based on a simple position-force architecture with optional passivity control on the master side. Now, advanced control algorithms are being implemented and evaluated extensively w.r.t. the relation between perceptual stability and update rate. This process will include experiments with a higher number of subjects to underpin our findings. The major research objective, however, is to explore human strategies in assembly operations.

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