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Vision-Based Assisted Tele-Operation of a Dual-Arm Hydraulically Actuated Robot for Pipe Cutting and Grasping in Nuclear Environments

Engineering Department, Lancaster University, Gillow Avenue, Lancaster LA1 4YW, UK
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Robotics 2019, 8(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics8020042
Received: 31 March 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 29 May 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Robotics in Extreme Environments)
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Abstract

This article investigates visual servoing for a hydraulically actuated dual-arm robot, in which the user selects the object of interest from an on-screen image, whilst the computer control system implements via feedback control the required position and orientation of the manipulators. To improve on the current joystick direct tele-operation commonly used as standard in the nuclear industry, which is slow and requires extensive operator training, the proposed assisted tele-operation makes use of a single camera mounted on the robot. Focusing on pipe cutting as an example, the new system ensures that one manipulator automatically grasps the user-selected pipe, and appropriately positions the second for a cutting operation. Initial laboratory testing (using a plastic pipe) shows the efficacy of the approach for positioning the manipulators, and suggests that for both experienced and inexperienced users, the task is completed significantly faster than via tele-operation. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydraulic manipulators; assisted tele-operation; nuclear decommissioning hydraulic manipulators; assisted tele-operation; nuclear decommissioning
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Bandala, M.; West, C.; Monk, S.; Montazeri, A.; Taylor, C.J. Vision-Based Assisted Tele-Operation of a Dual-Arm Hydraulically Actuated Robot for Pipe Cutting and Grasping in Nuclear Environments. Robotics 2019, 8, 42.

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