The objectives of the "TELEMAN 17 - UKIS" project were to design an intelligent observation and imaging system to allow an optimal presentation of world (and job) - related information to both the human operator and the control and planning systems of computer assisted teleoperators in the nuclear sector. Special attention was to be given to operation from a mobile platform in an enclosed space.
An intelligent observation and imaging system is being developed to allow an optimal presentation of world and job related information to both the human operator and the control and planning systems of computer assisted teleoperators in the nuclear sector.
A dedicated test environment was designed and built and measurements using the 3 imaging sensor systems (ultrasonics, laser range finding, and stereo vision) were carried out to provide a first set of real data for development of the software for sensor fusion, world modelling, and object identification. A further set of measurements was made to refine the software before the final demonstration. A generic framework for sensor data fusion, world modelling, and object identification has been produced which is applicable to different forms of teleoperation in the nuclear industry. Furthermore a laboratory model of an ultrasonic imaging system with bistatic capabilities has been realised. Possibilities of sensor data fusion were demonstrated where data from multiple sensors and/or multiple viewpoints allow a significant increase in spatial resolution and a decrease in model uncertainty. Parameter representations have been chosen to describe the geometrical modelling primitives which provide a theoretically sound approach to sensor data fusion, and which at the same time are intuitively easy to understand for the human operator. Moreover the system can accommodate and process data from not only advanced state of the art sensors but also from everyday low resolution systems and still provide improved overall system performance.
The generic framewok for sensor data fusion produced by the TM17 - UKIS project is applicable in many areas where tele-operators and/or mobile robots operate with relatively high levels of autonomy in disordered or unpredictable environments. The project partners are therefore proposing to exploit their results not only in the nuclear industry but also in underwater and space applications. The building blocks from this project are being developed further for practical application within the TELEMAN TM45 - IMPACT light inspection vehicle research machine project, with a focus on producing rapid 3-D world models of the nuclear environment to aid planning of maintenance operations using tele-robotics.
Work to be done
The system was to use knowledge of the capabilities of several sensor systems as well as geometrical knowledge of the environment to create an optimal, world related, image. To create a flexible system, where both supervised and unsupervised data interpretation was to be possible, research activities were to be focussed on the fusion of information both at the sensor data level and at higher levels of information. In relation to sensor fusion, the system was to address both world modelling and object recognition. System design was to be based on the concept of logical sensors that were to hide the physical characteristics of the sensor systems involved and would therefore be a solid basis to include other applications and sensor systems in the future.
Standardised test facilities representing typical geometrical configurations found in nuclear installations were to be set up at the partners' laboratories, so that the systems could be tested individually before final integration.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
2509 JG Den Haag ('S-gravenhage)