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Title: Human factors issues in telerobotic decommissioning of legacy nuclear facilities
Author: Talha, Mohammed
ISNI:       0000 0004 7968 0220
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis investigates the problems of enabling human workers to control remote robots, to achieve decommissioning of contaminated nuclear facilities, which are hazardous for human workers to enter. The mainstream robotics literature predominantly reports novel mechanisms and novel control algorithms. In contrast, this thesis proposes experimental methodologies for objectively evaluating the performance of both a robot and its remote human operator, when challenged with carrying out industrially relevant remote manipulation tasks. Initial experiments use a variety of metrics to evaluate the performance of human test-subjects. Results show that: conventional telemanipulation is extremely slow and difficult; metrics for usability of such technology can be conflicting and hard to interpret; aptitude for telemanipulation varies significantly between individuals; however such aptitude may be rendered predictable by using simple spatial awareness tests. Additional experiments suggest that autonomous robotics methods (e.g. vision-guided grasping) can significantly assist the operator. A novel approach to telemanipulation is proposed, in which an ``orbital camera`` enables the human operator to select arbitrary views of the scene, with the robot's motions transformed into the orbital view coordinate frame. This approach is useful for overcoming the severe depth perception problems of conventional fixed camera views. Finally, a novel computer vision algorithm is proposed for target tracking. Such an algorithm could be used to enable an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to fixate on part of the workspace, e.g. a manipulated object, to provide the proposed orbital camera view.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Eng.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Q Science (General) ; T Technology (General)