A teleoperation interface is introduced featuring an integrated virtual reality based simulation augmented by sensors and image processing capabilities on-board the remotely operated vehicle. The virtual reality system addresses the typical limitations of video-based teleoperation caused by signal lag and limited field of view, allowing the operator to navigate in a continuous fashion. The vehicle incorporates an on-board computer and a stereo vision system to facilitate obstacle detection. It also enables temporary autonomous operation of the vehicle for local navigation around obstacles and automatic re-establishment of the vehicle’s teleoperated state. Finally, the system provides real time update to the virtual environment based on anomalies encountered by the vehicle. System architecture and preliminary implementation results are discussed, and future work focused on incorporating dynamic moving objects in the environment is described.

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