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Robotic Interfaces Through Virtual Reality Technology

[+] Author Affiliations
David B. Streusand, John Steuben, Cameron J. Turner

Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO

Paper No. IMECE2010-38308, pp. 419-428; 10 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2010-38308
From:
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 3: Design and Manufacturing, Parts A and B
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4427-4
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME

abstract

Virtual reality, the ability to view and interact with virtual environments, has changed the way the world solves problems and accomplishes goals. The ability to control a person’s perceptions and interactions with a virtual environment allows programmers to create situations that can be used in numerous fields. Virtual interaction can go from a computer program to an immersive experience with realistic sounds, smells, visuals, and even touch. Research in virtual reality has covered human interaction with virtual reality, different potential applications, and different techniques in creating the virtual environments. This paper reviews several key areas of virtual reality technology and related applications. An application that has large implications for our research is the control of robotic systems. Robotic systems are only as smart as their programming. This limitation often limits the utility of robotic applications in otherwise desirable circumstances. Virtual reality technologies offer the ability to couple the intelligence of a human operator with a physical robotic implementation through a user-friendly virtualized interface. This early-stage research aims to develop a technological foundation that will ultimately lead to a virtual teleoperation interface for robotics in hazardous applications. The resulting system may have applications in nuclear material handling, chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing, and biomedical research fields.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME

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