1995-07-01

Teleoperation of Heavy Equipment: Derivation of Stereo Vision Requirements; A Case Study 951481

The design and employment of teleoperated heavy equipment for safe and efficient handling of hazardous material requires a thorough understanding of task characteristics and variables which can effect operator performance. This is particularly true when accurate end effector positioning is required, and where mistakes can result in life threatening events. This paper presents results of a Lockheed Martin Environmental Systems and Technologies Company Independent Research and Development study to determine the effects of 2-D vs 3-D visual displays on operator-system performance during a set of tasks associated with the operation of a 110,000 pound Caterpillar 235 Front Shovel. The research program is in support of Department of Energy, Department of Defense, Bureau of Mines, and Lockheed Martin commercial program objectives. We employed an expert heavy equipment operator to control for experience effects, and both near-field and far-field camera views were provided in both visual modes. Results indicate important differences in favor of stereo viewing with regard to the operators' ability to judge depth relationships during a precision positioning task. The significance of these preliminary findings is discussed in the context of current design efforts for teleoperated heavy equipment

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