Jan Smíšek (ESA and TU Delft): Teleoperation and shared autonomy research at the ESA Telerobotic & Haptics Lab

Fri, 05/13/2016

Everyone welcome to a seminar given by our former grad student, currently a research engineer at ESA and a Ph.D. student at TU Delft. The seminar will take place in the K14 seminar room at 10:00-11:00.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is conducting research in developing technologies for future space exploration missions using remotely operated robots. Remote task execution principally offers two extremes for control of a teleoperated robot: a) direct tele-manipulation, which offers flexible task execution, but requires continuous attention of a human operator; b) and automation, which lacks flexibility but provides superior performance in predictable and repetitive tasks.

To give an overview on current state-of-the-art space tele-manipulation, the talk will present a series of recent flight experiments conducted by the ESA Telerobotics and Haptics laboratory. In these experiments, a variety of terrestrial robots were controlled by astronauts from on-board the International Space Station, communicating over a geostationary satellite relay network (with a loop time delay of 0.85 sec).

Moreover, this talk will explore a middle option between tele-manipulation and autonomy, termed haptic shared control, in which the control from the operator and from the automation is merged using haptic forces on a common control interface. Such design has the potential to overcome some of the human-machine interaction issues frequently associated with automated
control systems, such as loss of skills and situational awareness of the operator.

Jan Smisek is a Robotics Engineer at the Telerobotics and Haptics lab (http://esa-telerobotics.net/), with the European Space Research and Technology Centre of the European Space Agency, situated in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. He is also a PhD candidate at the Control and Simulation department, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology teaching Master's level control and human-machine interaction related courses. Jan received the MSc degree in Systems and Control from the Czech Technical University in Prague, in 2011.

Image: Jan Smíšek