Haptic tele-operation of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs)

  • Reem K. Ashour

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Remote tele-operation systems are mainly designed for the sole purpose of transferring the human operators control/manipulation capability to a Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) located slave system, to directly interacts with the environment, with the use of a master system by maximizing the telepresence of the operator. The awareness to surrounding environment in teleoperation is reduced as a result of physical separation between the human operator and the vehicle. The teleoperator lacks the existence of various multiplesensory information such as sound, motions, and vibrations of the airframe unlike the pilot onboard of a manned aircraft, who perceptibly has all of these characteristics. Only visual information, such as camera images with limited resolution and view of the field, are usually provided to the operator and the lower the situation awareness, the less safety the teleoperation is. In this thesis, haptic based bilateral shared autonomous system is designed and developed for a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) in indoor environments. The proposed control and interface guides the human operator to navigate ROV in order to control and interact with uncertain indoor environments safely and precisely in the absence of visual feedback. The bilateral shared control inputs interface for the master and slave are designed based on both the velocity signals of the ROV and the scaled position of the local master haptic manipulator. The master input interface also combines reflected remote interaction interface between slave and remote environments. The remote interaction force applies to the human operator hands through a haptic device providing situational awareness about surrounding environment of the remotely operated vehicle. In this thesis, we first develop reflected input interaction forces generated by using four different force fields as artificial force field, the basic risk force field, parametric risk field, virtual impedance force fields modeled as spring model and spring-damper model. Then, we implemented and evaluated the proposed control and interaction interface on unmanned ground vehicle and unmanned micro aerial vehicle in simulation and experimental environment. The evaluation results showed that, compared with an artificial force field based interface, the interface designed by using virtual impedance forces provides better situational awareness about the remote environment guiding the operator to navigate and control ROV safely and precisely in uncertain indoor environments in the absence of visual feedback.
Date of Award2015
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorJorge Dias (Supervisor)


  • Haptic tele-operation
  • remotely operated vehicles(ROVs)

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