Panospheric Video for Robotic Telexploration

John Murphy
doctoral dissertation, tech. report CMU-RI-TR-98-10, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, May, 1998


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Abstract
Teleoperation using cameras and monitors fails to achieve the rich and natural perceptions available during direct hands-on operation. Optimally. a reniote telepresence reproduces visual sensations that enable equivalent understanding and interaction as direct operation. Through irnrnersive video acquisition and display. the situational awareness of a remote operator is brought closer lo that of direct operation. Early teleoperation research considered the value of wide tields of view. However. utilization of wide fields of view meant sacrificing resolution and presenting distorted imagery to the viewer. With recent advances in technology. these problems are no longer barriers to hyper-wide field of view video.

Acquisition and display of video conveying the entire surroundings of a tclcoperated mobile robot requires innolwtion of hardware and software. The raw image from a panospheric camera is unfamiliar for direct viewing by a human operator. Through software transformation. an image is created that is visually identical lo images produced by traditional field of view cameras. The image stream can be formatted to mesh with any display. and is displayed on both a flat-screen monitor and a domed iinmersive theatre.

This research explores the value of panospheric video to telexplorers who navigate remote mobile robots through unknown terrain. A substantial component of the research is the design and development and evaluation of a panospheric sensor and methods of displaying the video to the telexplorer, Different modes of presenting the video to operators of a remote robot are evaluated based on thc success and tcchniqucs of the operator while attempting to react to untraversable terrain.

Utilization of panospheric video for robotic telexploration is an appropriate solution, even though current technologies fall short of achieving the characteristics of human vision. In its initial deployment, panospheric technology shows significant value over traditional methods of image acquisition. Utilizing panospheric video. over 100 novice and experienced operators combined to accomplish unprecedented teleoperation production.


Notes
Associated Project(s): Atacama Desert Trek

Text Reference
John Murphy, "Panospheric Video for Robotic Telexploration," doctoral dissertation, tech. report CMU-RI-TR-98-10, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, May, 1998

BibTeX Reference
@phdthesis{Murphy_1998_4185,
   author = "John Murphy",
   title = "Panospheric Video for Robotic Telexploration",
   booktitle = "",
   school = "Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University",
   month = "May",
   year = "1998",
   number= "CMU-RI-TR-98-10",
   address= "Pittsburgh, PA",
}