Experimental Evaluation of Computer-Aided Tele-operation (CATO) and Computer-Aided Robotic Manipulation (CARMAN) Technology

Report No. ARL-TR-5257
Authors: Regina A. Pomranky, Keryl Cosenzo, Andrew Bodenhamer, and Brad Pettijohn
Date/Pages: August 2010; 54 pages
Abstract: The objective of this research was to experimentally evaluate the effect of Computer-Aided Robotic Manipulation (CARMAN) and Computer Aided Tele-operation (CATO) technologies on manipulator activity and tele-operation, respectively. These technologies were assessed to gauge their effectiveness relative to standard operation of a TALON IIIB. The CARMAN experiment consisted of a light board task with targets. CARMAN has two technologies that were evaluated in this experiment for manipulator control; Point and Click and Fly-To. These technologies were compared to the baseline configuration (ALTON). The Point and Click mode allows the operator to select a point on the video from the Operator Control Unit (OCU), which will direct the manipulator arm to move to that general area. The Fly-To mode allows the operator precise control over the manipulator arm, via a joystick on the OCU, to direct the end effector to a specific point. Results showed that performance with the Fly-To configuration was superior to the other two configurations. The CATO Experiment consisted of a path-following course and an obstacle negotiation course. CATO has three technologies that were evaluated in this experiment for tele-operation, Elevated Camera, Projected Path, and Waypoint. These technologies were compared to the baseline configuration (TALON). Elevated Camera was best suited for completing the obstacle course both in terms of speed and minimizing collisions. Projected Path was found to be best for following a designated path and was also well suited for avoiding collisions with obstacles. Both Elevated Camera and Projected Path were found to significantly reduce the reported frustration of operating the SUGV for these tasks.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2010