Telerobotics for Environmental Remediation: Research Needs from the Field 951483
Significant progress has been made over the past decade with transitioning telerobotics research to field applications. The motivation for this has been the obvious safety barriers established by removing the operator from unsafe working conditions. Although safety objectives are being met, degraded performance conditions associated with the separation of the operator from the work environment can emerge. Improving the fidelity between equipment performance and the operator's awareness of the equipment's performance helps improve work productivity and contributes to the overall safety and health of the working environment. This paper discusses some of the key areas of needed research, the results of which will contribute to improved operations in the field. These areas include the effects of perturbed sensory feedback, spatial displacement in visual feedback, and tactile/kinesthetic feedback deficits. Specific examples of productivity deficits associated with degraded feedback are provided.