Teleoperation

The first step toward this vision is to interact with robots over large distances. Vehicles have been operated by remote control for well over a century. One of the earliest examples is a radio-controlled boat that was publicly demonstrated in New York by Nicola Tesla in 1898. Across the 20th century, numerous teleoperated robots were developed for navigation in remote or hazardous situations, such as handling radioactive materials, space travel, undersea exploration. Space agencies (such as NASA) and militaries have conducted extensive research and development of remote controlled vehicles. Another intriguing example of teleoperation is the TeleGarden from 1995, which was a robot arm hovering over a real garden, at the University of Southern California, that was connected to the Internet. Remote visitors could plant seeds and generally take care of the garden. In 2001, teleoperated robots were deployed to the World Trade Center bombing site to search for victims. In current times, remote controlled vehicles of all kinds are widely available to hobbyists, including cars, fixed-wing aircraft, quadrotors (drones), boats, and submarines. Operation is often difficult because the user must control the vehicle from a third-person view while handling the controller. Therefore, many vehicles have been equipped with wireless cameras so that the user obtains a first-person view (FPV) on a screen. This is an important step toward telepresence. Teleoperation need not be limited to vehicles. Health care is one of the largest and growing fields for teleoperation, which usually involves fixed-based robot arm that manipulates medical instruments. For a general survey of networked robotics, see [300].

Steven M LaValle 2016-12-31