NREC has developed an immersive teleoperation
system that allows operators to remotely drive an unmanned
ground vehicle (UGV) more effectively over complex terrain.
The United States Army is developing autonomous UGVs for use in military missions. These missions are classic examples of "triple D” – dirty, dull and dangerous. Automating them will save lives and allow the Army to better carry out its essential tasks. However, full robotic autonomy is not yet at the point where it can be used on the battlefield. Human intervention is still necessary to successfully make use of UGVs under real-world conditions.
Teleoperation allows a human operator to remotely control
a UGV. During tactical missions, UGV must maneuver
at high speeds and may range far from the operator. The
poor situational awareness that current teleoperation systems
provide makes it nearly impossible to maintain the pace
of operations (optempo) needed to successfully perform
tactical missions. By developing more effective teleoperation
systems, the military can reap the benefits of using unmanned
systems without having to wait for breakthroughs in autonomy.
NREC is developing an immersive teleoperation system as
part of the UPI program
(UGCV-PerceptOR Integration). NREC’s teleoperation
system has been tested on the Crusher UGV
under a wide variety of driving conditions. This
testing has quantified factors that affect a remote operator’s
ability to drive quickly and safely in challenging off-road