In our country, most of the industries do not have the luxury of telecommuting traditionally. Many kinds of manufacturing jobs always demands for a physical presence in order to operate machinery. But we often wonder that what if these kinds of jobs could be done remotely. A virtual reality system has been presented by a team of engineers which allows you to teleoperate a robot by using a headset specially designed for this purpose.
The user is places by this system in a VR control room with multiple sensor displays and they would feel like that they are inside the robot’s head. Users are able to match their movements with the robot’s movements by using hand controllers in order to complete several tasks.
According to the scientists, this system would help humans in easily supervising robots from a distance eventually as well as blue collar workers also would be able to telecommute by teleoperating robots from home.The team has used the Baxter humanoid robot but according to them it would work on other platforms as well as it is compatible with the headset.
This report has been published in many news papers by the researchers. For the purpose of using virtual reality for teleoperation, there have been mainly two approaches traditionally. In a direct model, the vision of the user has been directly coupled with the robot’s state. A delayed signal could lead to nausea and headaches with this system and the view point of user is limited to one prospective.
The user is separate from the robot usually in a cyber physical model. Much more data and specialized spaces have been required by this system and the user interacts with a virtual copy of the robot and the environment. The scientists are in a state of confusion between these two methods.
As the user is continuously receiving visual feedback from the virtual world, it solved the delay problem as well as the cyber physical issue of being distinct from the robot. The user would feel as they are inside Baxter’s head from the moment the user puts on the headset and logs into the system.
For mimicking the homunculus model of the mind by this system, there is an idea that there is a small human inside our brains which is controlling our actions, viewing the images that we see as well as understanding them for us. This is a peculiar idea for humans and robots as it fits. There is a human inside the robot in a virtual control room and seeing through its eyes and controlling its actions as well.