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Article

Mixed Reality-Enhanced Intuitive Teleoperation with Hybrid Virtual Fixtures for Intelligent Robotic Welding

1
Mechanical Engineering Department, College of Engineering, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand
2
Manufacturing Futures Research Institute (MFRI), Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne 3122, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Enrico Vezzetti
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(23), 11280; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112311280
Received: 30 October 2021 / Revised: 23 November 2021 / Accepted: 23 November 2021 / Published: 29 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Topic Extended Reality (XR): AR, VR, MR and Beyond)
This paper presents an integrated scheme based on a mixed reality (MR) and haptic feedback approach for intuitive and immersive teleoperation of robotic welding systems. By incorporating MR technology, the user is fully immersed in a virtual operating space augmented by real-time visual feedback from the robot working space. The proposed robotic tele-welding system features imitative motion mapping from the user’s hand movements to the welding robot motions, and it enables the spatial velocity-based control of the robot tool center point (TCP). The proposed mixed reality virtual fixture (MRVF) integration approach implements hybrid haptic constraints to guide the operator’s hand movements following the conical guidance to effectively align the welding torch for welding and constrain the welding operation within a collision-free area. Onsite welding and tele-welding experiments identify the operational differences between professional and unskilled welders and demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed MRVF tele-welding framework for novice welders. The MRVF-integrated visual/haptic tele-welding scheme reduced the torch alignment times by 56% and 60% compared to the MRnoVF and baseline cases, with minimized cognitive workload and optimal usability. The MRVF scheme effectively stabilized welders’ hand movements and eliminated undesirable collisions while generating smooth welds. View Full-Text
Keywords: mixed reality; robotic welding; virtual fixture mixed reality; robotic welding; virtual fixture
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MDPI and ACS Style

Su, Y.-P.; Chen, X.-Q.; Zhou, T.; Pretty, C.; Chase, G. Mixed Reality-Enhanced Intuitive Teleoperation with Hybrid Virtual Fixtures for Intelligent Robotic Welding. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 11280. https://doi.org/10.3390/app112311280

AMA Style

Su Y-P, Chen X-Q, Zhou T, Pretty C, Chase G. Mixed Reality-Enhanced Intuitive Teleoperation with Hybrid Virtual Fixtures for Intelligent Robotic Welding. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(23):11280. https://doi.org/10.3390/app112311280

Chicago/Turabian Style

Su, Yun-Peng, Xiao-Qi Chen, Tony Zhou, Christopher Pretty, and Geoffrey Chase. 2021. "Mixed Reality-Enhanced Intuitive Teleoperation with Hybrid Virtual Fixtures for Intelligent Robotic Welding" Applied Sciences 11, no. 23: 11280. https://doi.org/10.3390/app112311280

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