Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Sabri Tosunoglu

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Armando Barreto

Second Advisor's Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Ibrahim Nur Tansel

Third Advisor's Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Yiding Cao

Fourth Advisor's Title

Committee Member

Keywords

wave variable technique, fault tolerance, position/force control, robotics, telemanipulation

Date of Defense

11-14-2007

Abstract

While the robots gradually become a part of our daily lives, they already play vital roles in many critical operations. Some of these critical tasks include surgeries, battlefield operations, and tasks that take place in hazardous environments or distant locations such as space missions.

In most of these tasks, remotely controlled robots are used instead of autonomous robots. This special area of robotics is called teleoperation. Teleoperation systems must be reliable when used in critical tasks; hence, all of the subsystems must be dependable even under a subsystem or communication line failure.

These systems are categorized as unilateral or bilateral teleoperation. A special type of bilateral teleoperation is described as force-reflecting teleoperation, which is further investigated as limited- and unlimited-workspace teleoperation.

Teleoperation systems configured in this study are tested both in numerical simulations and experiments. A new method, Virtual Rapid Robot Prototyping, is introduced to create system models rapidly and accurately. This method is then extended to configure experimental setups with actual master systems working with system models of the slave robots accompanied with virtual reality screens as well as the actual slaves. Fault-tolerant design and modeling of the master and slave systems are also addressed at different levels to prevent subsystem failure.

Teleoperation controllers are designed to compensate for instabilities due to communication time delays. Modifications to the existing controllers are proposed to configure a controller that is reliable in communication line failures. Position/force controllers are also introduced for master and/or slave robots. Later, controller architecture changes are discussed in order to make these controllers dependable even in systems experiencing communication problems.

The customary and proposed controllers for teleoperation systems are tested in numerical simulations on single- and multi-DOF teleoperation systems. Experimental studies are then conducted on seven different systems that included limited- and unlimited-workspace teleoperation to verify and improve simulation studies.

Experiments of the proposed controllers were successful relative to the customary controllers. Overall, by employing the fault-tolerance features and the proposed controllers, a more reliable teleoperation system is possible to design and configure which allows these systems to be used in a wider range of critical missions.

Share

COinS