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Arm System for Telepresence

(Work in progress)

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A robot arm system designed to enhance the current telepresence experience has been implemented as part of the development work in the Transparent Telepresence lab.   To achieve this, in addition to the passive experience provided by a basic telepresence unit such as a Robot Head, it gives the user the ability to directly interact with the remote environment.

The system will allow the user to interact with the surrounding environment by manipulating objects remote from his location. Since the user controls the system by moving his arm the usual way, he does not have to expend any extra physical or cognitive effort to achieve his task. There are no special techniques or new skills to be learned in order to control the system.

The new system being developed is a Master-Slave robot arm system capable of integration with the other telepresence systems developed in the lab.

Basically, the system can be divided into three major parts


System features

Slave arm:
  • 5 DOF Slave arm.
  • Anthropomorphic design
  • Accurate motion (Stepper motors in all joints)
  • Light weight.
  • 1.5 Kg Useful weight.
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Master arm:
  • Flexible hardware.
  • Very light weight
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Control and Communication:
  • Closed Loop control system.
  • Software stepper motors control.
  • Direct cable master-slave connection or
  • Modem to modem connection.


How it works

The user of the system wears the master arm jacket, which is connected to a PC containing an I/O board and modem. When the user performs a movement with his arm, sensors on the master arm detect this motion and send suitable data to the I/O card. The PC processes these signals and converts them into commands to be transmitted through the modems or the communication line. The PC on the remote side receives those commands and reads the current position of the mechanical arm joints. Using this information, it calculates the necessary changes to be made to the position of the  joints in order to keep tracking the user arm position. The PC also calculates the required speed to perform that motion. Then the remote PC generates the required pulses to drive the stepper motors on the arm. These pulses are transmitted to a small box connected to the arm, which contains the motor drivers and power supply.


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All the Joints Wide Motion Range More Work Fast Wrist !
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The Hand in Action Latest Computer Model First Computer Model
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Future work


Last Update: Wednesday, 14 April 1999
Transparent Telepresence Group, T. Khalil