Abstract

Increasing the level of automation in material handling tasks in small volume production operations can improve human productivity and overall manufacturing system performance. In this paper, we present a teleoperated mobile manipulator system that can be used for tending machines and transporting parts in manufacturing applications. The remotely located human operator can interact with the semi-autonomous mobile manipulator by giving it high level instructions. We have incorporated several sensors on the system to ensure safe teleoperation where the operator gives only high level motion goals to the mobile manipulator, such as waypoints for mobile base motion, and interactive marker poses for the manipulator motion. The point clouds from multiple depth cameras are used for mapping the environment. The robot plans for autonomous motions between the given way-points ensuring that the resulting motions are collision-free. We have conducted case studies with two different types of parts to be extracted from a 3D printer. The system is tested by multiple users. They were successful in completing tasks in a reasonable amount of time using our interface.

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