Evaluation of Remote Interface Component Alternatives for Teaching Tele-Robotic Operation

Evaluation of Remote Interface Component Alternatives for Teaching Tele-Robotic Operation

Goldstain Ofir (Tel-Aviv University, Israel), Ben-Gal Irad (Tel-Aviv University, Israel) and Bukchin Yossi (Tel-Aviv University, Israel)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-186-3.ch009
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This chapter discusses a remote learning study conducted at the Computer-Integrated-Manufacturing (CIM) Laboratory in Tel-Aviv University. The goal is to provide remote end-users with an interface that enables them to teleoperate a robotic arm in conditions as close as possible to hands-on operation in the laboratory. This study evaluates the contribution of different interface components to the overall performance and the learning ability of potential end-users. Based on predefined experimental tasks, the study compares alternative interface designs for teleoperation. The three performance measures of the robot operation task are (1) the number of steps that are required to complete the given task, (2) the number of errors during the execution stage, and (3) the improvement rate of users. Guidelines for a better design of remote learning interfaces in robotics are provided based on the experimental results.
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This chapter focuses on the design of an interface for remote learning of robotics operations. The interface design, which is supported by technical guidelines, is general and applicable for a wide variety tools for teaching tele-robotic operation. It differs from previous research in the field, which often focuses on a specific applicative interface.

The proposed interface includes aspects of remote manipulation of robots with aspects of remote learning. The motivation for such integration is to enable users to practice not only the remote activation of a robotic cell but also the availability of learning, redesigning and optimizing the work plan in the cell. The chapter starts by considering three possible design schemes: a “Home-based,” a “Lab-based” and a “Website-based.” It identifies different interface components that support a remote telerobotic-learning. Then it measures and evaluates the interactions among these components as well as their effects and usability within a proposed remote learning interface. Such an evaluation is conducted by running a set of experiments, requiring the users to execute specific robotic tasks from a remote location while examining their performance over various interface settings. The performance of the remote users is also compared with hands-on operation, which is used as a benchmark setting.

The evaluation tool of the web-based interface for the telerobotic learning is called the Test-Oriented-Interface (TOI). As the chapter unfolds, elements within this interface are evaluated, focusing on their contribution to the remote learning assignments. A full set of guidelines for designing a remote learning interface is extracted from the evaluation of the TOI. The objective of these guidelines is to maximize the benefits obtained from the interface for the users (e.g., students) as well as for the hosting institute (e.g., university). Finally, we present how the new web-interface for remote learning of robotic operations is implemented and fully operated in the CIM laboratory.

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