The Telepresence Laboratory (TPL) is chartered to investigate,evaluate and design components and systems that address limitations inteleoperation technologies for control of robotic systems. Significanttelepresence system technology challenges for the Robonaut projectcenter on providing sensing of posture and feedback of informationwithout overly encumbering the teleoperator. Some of the componenttechnologies under investigation in the TPL include Helmet MountedDisplays, force and tactile feedback gloves, eye trackers and posturetrackers. The telepresence technologies evaluated and designed in theTPL can be applied to various multi-arm robotic systems to aid in thecontrol process by making the operation of such devices a more naturaland intuitive activity.
Other areas of investigation involve haptic feedback to theteleoperator. Both haptic and force feedback gloves have beenpurchased and are being integrated into the lab environment. Outputfrom the gloves will be used to drive a multi-fingered simulation aswell as a four fingered, tendon actuated robotic hand. The simulatedhand and the robotic hand will be configured to output contact andforce parameters when contact is made with another object. These forceparameters will be used to drive the haptic and force feedbackactuators located on the teleoperator's glove.