The major objective of " TELEMAN 20 - MAGIC" was to extend the existing state of the art in computer aided teleoperation and remote handling using cranes, gantry systems and large computer controlled serving systems. In particular the knowledge gained was to be of specific value to operations planned for hazardous or disordered nuclear environments. Many of the systems and techniques developed under this proposal were also to be appropriate to more generally mobile equipment mounted, for example, on vehicles, and for normal operations in existing nuclear plants, including reactors.
The existing state of the art in computer aided teleoperation and remote handling is being extended using cranes, gantry systems and large computer controlled serving systems.
Two bilateral input devices: a Cartesian minimaster arm (CARMA) and a serial link input device, were developed and tested with a Puma 560 robot. To improve the teleoperator interface, software was generated to enable smooth motion through a singularity. Force control algorithms were developed to support the robotic execution of contact tasks: drilling, sawing, and bolting and unbolting. A geometric controller to provide resolved motion control of an n-axis manipulator was designed. To handle redundant degrees of freedom the auxiliary control strategies 'mid range', 'snaking', and 'collision avoidance' were implemented. A semi autonomous controller (SAC), which resides architecturally one level above these subsystems, was designed to coordinate different subsystems, facilitate operator intervention, monitor system data, and validate operator commands. In performance trials the SAC was used to control the remote connection of a bolted flange.
With the exception of the Geometric Controller, which will be used by Nuclear Electric to control its redundant degrees of freedom manipulator in maintenance operations in its nuclear power plants, all of the above building blocks are being incorporated into the TELEMAN TM 48 - INGRID robust gantry-mounted tele-manipulator research machine project. CARMA has been commericalised by AEA as a product for use in nuclear remote handling applications and KfK plans to use the SAC in a number of internal and external projects. Singularity control has now been installed as a core facility in AEA's commercial telerobotic controller.
Work to be done
The work was to be divided into seven areas:
1-bilateral input devices for teleoperators (AEA Harwell, Univ. Newcastle)
2-telerobotic controller for industrial robots adapted to nuclear teleoperation. (AEA Harwell)
3-semi-autonomous and overall control, graphic simulation and decision aids for task planning and execution. (Siemens, AEA Harwell, KfK, Univ. Hannover)
4-generalised geometric controller for teleoperated and autonomous control of any manipulator via a stereographic workstation. (Nuclear Electric)
5-partitioning of coordinated robot, manipulator and gantry control system (AEA Harwell, Univ. Hannover)
6-force control and mode switching for autonomous sub-tasks (Univ. Newcastle)
7-force and force-rate sensors for robust force control. (Univ. Newcastle)
Each sub-system was to undergo prototype or simulation testing according to the application. Integration and field testing in nuclear environments was to form the basis of the TELEMAN TM48 INGRID research machine project.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
GL13 9PB Berkeley
NE1 7RU Newcastle Upon Tyne