Robot Control Systems - Remote Operation and Tele-Control

Page content

Type of Remotely Operated Robots

Remotely operated robots are a type of manipulation robotic system that can be controlled from a distant place. Remotely operated robots, also known as tele-control robots, can be classified into five main sub types on the basis of their construction and characteristics.

They main types of remotely operated type robots are as follows:

  • Command-controlled manipulator
  • Master slave manipulator
  • Semiautomatic manipulator
  • Supervisory controlled robots
  • Interactive robots

All the above mentioned types have one or more controllable arms with a series of joints, each having their own control system.

Command-controlled manipulator

In a command controlled manipulator, each of the joints is controlled by a remotely located human operator who controls the manipulator from a control panel. For example, in a type of research vessel used for the ocean bed, an operator sitting inside operates the manipulators using a control panel and by watching through a view port.

Master Slave Manipulator

A master slave manipulator is also operated by a human from a safe distance, but uses a master and slave mechanism, both having the same kind of functionalities. The master and slave parts are attached using a joint that transmits the motion from the master part to the slave part. This type of system is generally used in areas where humans are exposed to radiation or harmful chemicals or gases.

Semiautomatic Manipulator

Semiautomatic manipulators are controlled using joystick, which is located at a remote place or attached to a control panel. Semiautomatic manipulators are more sophisticated than the above two manipulators as they allow a higher degree of freedom and can perform any motion in the required direction. The control system generates a signal on every movement of the joy stick. The signal is then converted into a control signal that applies to the respective actuator of the manipulator.

Supervisory Controlled Robots

Supervisory controlled robots and interactive robots are fully functional robots. The supervisory controlled robot has a fully programmed task written in its control system. Though a type of remotely operated robot, supervisory controlled robots do not require any significant human involvement. A human operator just watches the robot’s operation from a distance and intervenes when a goal has to be assigned. Thus, the human controller only has to assign a task to the robot, while the robot performs the task on its own.

Interactive robots

Interactive robots are a type that is one step superior to the supervisory controlled robot. The main difference between a supervisory controlled robots and interactive robots is that the later one can determine its own action through its sensing and recognizing abilities and perform the required action on its own.

Though all these types of robots are distinguished on the basis of their characteristics, two or more types can also be combined to form a new type of robot for a particular application. This type of robot is known as a hybrid robot.