Enhanced Situational Awareness for Robotic and EVA Operations 2007-01-3231
Oceaneering International has developed and implemented a real-time system to augment the situational awareness of subsea Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) operators. This system, called Modular Integrated Man-Machine Interaction Control (MIMIC), provides the operator with vehicle state information and augments the ROV camera views with additional simulated views of the worksite and the ROV. It creates the simulated views using CAD models of the ROV and the operational environment integrated with real-time vehicle sensor feedback and physics-based dynamic simulations. This capability is the most significant situational awareness system development since the advent of sonar for underwater remotely operated vehicles tasked with exploration and development of deep ocean resources. If the visibility is low; if there is a time delay in communications due to limited bandwidth for video, telemetry, and control data; or if the work site is too large to get the big picture, MIMIC provides the situational awareness needed to safely and efficiently complete the job.
This paper provides an overview of MIMIC and describes how a similar system could be used to support Constellation Program robotic and EVA operations. Robots and human-robot teams will play a vital role in exploring the moon and Mars. The work performed by these teams will be more varied and less structured than the human-robot tasks now performed on the International Space Station. The robotic system operators will need extensive information about the environment and about the states of the various work systems (EVA crew and robotic agents) to efficiently and safely perform sorties on the moon and Mars. This information will come from multiple data sources and must be integrated and properly presented to the crew in a manner that does not over burden them with unnecessary details. A system similar to MIMIC could effectively integrate a wide range of sensor data, augment this information with simulations, and provide the operator significantly better situational awareness than otherwise possible.