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EOD Tele-manipulation Robot Technology Roadmap Development; Operators Remotely Handling Objects with Dexterity, 3D Perception and Haptic Feedback

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Systems Concepts and Integration

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Augmented Reality, Dexterous, EOD, Haptic feedback, Robotics, Telemanipulation, Telepresence


Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) operations are often dangerous. Risk to human lives can be reduced by employing EOD robots, which a trained operator can use to investigate and manipulate the object of interest and surroundings. These procedures often involve sensitive tasks, manipulating objects in constrained environments and time pressure. However, the current state of the art robotic EOD systems and their control interfaces lack the sophistication to perform swiftly from safe remote location the demanding handling tasks. The traditional EOD robots have a simple arm and gripper control interfaces and a video link with the operator. Conducting handling tasks remotely with the robot arm/gripper is challenging and time-consuming, even for trained operators performing a task that would be trivial for humans. Consequently, the EOD operators are often forced to approach the explosive threat in person to perform the manipulation task locally without standoff in order to fulfill their mission. By improving the dexterous capabilities of EOD tele-manipulation robots and the control interfaces, e.g. providing haptic (touch) feedback, 3D perception for situational awareness, assisted driving, navigation and control technologies, the EOD operators will be able to perform a wider array of handling tasks at safe standoff distance.


The Exploratory Team will use a System of Systems approach to complete the identification of the requirements for robot system enabling EOD operator to sensitively manipulate objects at remote location with haptic feedback. The Exploratory Team will initiate a state of the art analysis for the different scientific domains contributing to the System of Systems. The successive Task Group will establish a technology roadmap for the future EOD tele-manipulation robot system of systems. The Exploratory Team plans to actively involve EOD specialist in operational capability requirements analysis and present the outcomes of state of the art analysis and the technology roadmap to the EOD community and EOD robot industry. The Exploratory Team encourages initiatives to develop proof of principle and proof of concept technology demonstrators in cooperation with industry. The Exploratory Team will investigate the interest of the EOD community to support an ‘EOD telemanipulation challenge’ in which different teams will compete to complete complex handling tasks relevant for EOD operations. In such an event the R&D technology demonstrators can show potential future concepts of operation in the same relevant and challenging environment.


The Exploratory Team will cover at least the following scientific topics; Tele-manipulation, Tele-Presence, Augmented Reality, Dexterous handling, Haptic feedback, Intuitive tele-operation controllers, Situational Awareness, SLAM, 3D environment mapping sensors, autonomy-assisted driving & navigation & positioning.

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