Remote Control of Robots – Avatar Experience
Sometimes you need to get human knowledge and skills to places that are hazardous or difficult to access for people. The project entitled Predictive Avatar Control and Feedback (PACOF) is creating a robotic system that allows the robot operator to experience the location just as the robot does. Three researchers representing the three different disciplines of the University of Twente’s EEMCS faculty are working together in this project.
The ‘avatars’ being built by Dr Douwe Dresscher, Dr Felix Schwenninger and Dr Gwenn Englebienne are a bit like the blue humanoids in the film of the same name. “Like these fictional characters, we are working on a similar control system that will let the operator feel like he or she has taken the place of the robot,” says Dresscher.
Robots are already being developed for home care in Norway, but they are not yet as personal as they could be. In this sparsely populated country, the avatars could help to bridge the enormous distances by letting carers see and interact with their patients through the robots. The avatars can also be used for hazardous work such as loading and unloading oil tankers in the Port of Rotterdam. “Hazardous substances must be handled by operators with the right expertise. Using an avatar, you can get the necessary skills to the oil tanker without having to endanger people,” said Dresscher.
HOW IT WORKS