Telemanipulation via Virtual Reality Interfaces with Enhanced Environment Models

Presenter: Stephen Alt

Research Category: Engineering and Technology
College: Khoury College of Computer Sciences
Major(s): Computer Science
Graduation Date: 2022
Additional Authors: Murphy Wonsick, Tarik Kelestemur

Extreme environments, such as search and rescue missions, defusing bombs, or exploring extraterrestrial planets, are unsafe environments for humans to be in. Robots enable humans to explore and interact in these environments through remote presence and teleoperation. Virtual reality provides a medium to create immersive and easy-to-use teleoperation interfaces for humans to interact with these environments. However, current virtual reality interfaces are still very limited in their capabilities. In this work, we aim to advance robot teleoperation virtual reality interfaces by developing an environment reconstruction methodology capable of recognizing objects in a robotÕs environment and rendering high fidelity models inside a virtual reality headset. We compare our proposed environment reconstruction method against traditional point cloud streaming by having operators plan waypoint trajectories to accomplish a pick-and-place task. Overall, our results show that users find our environment reconstruction method more usable and less cognitive work compared to raw point cloud streaming.