The Concept

At the PILOT station, the RT-HAP subsystem focuses on the development and integration of a novel haptic master device for bilateral teleoperation. It includes:

  • An updated version of the existing HEXOTrAc-Plus hand exoskeleton forms the basis of the pilot teleoperation system. The HEXOTrAc-Plus allows hand tracking and force feedback.
  • The novel 6-DOF, desk/floor mounted, force-feedback REMOTArm device has been designed, and integrated with the HEXOTrAc-Plus for grounded haptic feedback to the operator’s arm and fingers.

This subsystem is designed to:

  • Have a large enough range of motion not to restrict operator movements and allow the manipulation tasks
  • Be compact, so it does not interfere with the arms of the operator during dexterous manipulation
  • Be lightweight, to reduce the inertia of the device and to improve the dynamic response
  • Provide realistic tactile and haptic feedback during the tele-manipulation tasks

Within the Humanoids and Human Centered Mechatronics (HHCM) lab of the IIT, the RT-HAP and RT-MAN subsystems are developed from the first instance with a suitable software and communications architecture. This allows them to form a high-speed communications and control loop in order to guarantee stable bilateral tele-manipulation.  For this reason, the control, communications, and software for the RT-HAP is distributed in several hardware and software layers, concurrent with those of the RT-MAN subsystem, and which guarantee high-performance closed-loop control. Furthermore, the system architecture guarantees the applicability of the system to VR.