Laser-Directed Ranging Systems for Telerobotics Applications (MSC-22431)

Researchers at NASA have developed new technologies for determining the distance from a remote-controlled robot to another object. In these range-finding systems, an operator controls a robot-mounted camera platform using a position-sensor helmet. Position signals from the helmet sensors are sent to the camera platform, enabling the movement of the camera platform to mimic the movement of the operator’s head. The technology allows an operator to see the robot’s environment from the robot’s point of view. The operator can determine the range to any object within the robot’s field of vision by looking at the object, targeting it with a laser, and activating a range-finding algorithm. Once the range of the target is determined, the operator can then use a robot arm to manipulate the object. These technologies perform the same function but in slightly different ways: MSC 22431 uses two cameras and MSC 22549 uses only one.

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