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Teleoperation of a Robotic Manipulator

Currently, the primary method for teleoperation of a robotic manipulator consists of using joysticks and a multitude of camera views. In the space shuttle setup, there are two joysticks -- one to translate forward/backward, up/down, and left/right and one to control yaw, roll, and pitch. Depending on the available views of the manipulator and the manipulator's position and orientation, it can be extremely difficult to determine the joystick movements necessary to move the manipulator to the desired position and orientation without running into objects or singularities.

The goal of the JAMSTORM project is to address this issue by making teleoperation more intuitive for the user. JAMSTORM is a wearable system that uses fiber-optic cables to measure joint angles, allowing the user to simply move his/her arm in the manner of the desired robot movement. The joint angle data collected by JAMSTORM will then be sent to the robotic control software, causing the manipulator to mimic the human user's motions.

Initial testing of the fiber-optic technology has been performed, proving that this is a feasible method for measuring human joint angles. The wearable system has recently been completed, and validation tests of the entire system are in progress.

Project advisor: Dr. David Akin
Lead graduate student: Teresa Buchholz

JAMSTORM is under development at the University of Maryland Space Systems Laboratory, part of the Aerospace Engineering Department and the A. James Clark School of Engineering. Funding is provided through the Institute for Dexterous Space Robotics


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