Intuitive Robot Integration via Virtual Reality Workspaces

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PubDate: May 2023

Teams: The University of Texas at Arlington

Writers: Minh Q. Tram, Joseph M. Cloud, William J. Beksi

PDF: Intuitive Robot Integration via Virtual Reality Workspaces


As robots become increasingly prominent in diverse industrial settings, the desire for an accessible and reliable system has correspondingly increased. Yet, the task of meaningfully assessing the feasibility of introducing a new robotic component, or adding more robots into an existing infrastructure, remains a challenge. This is due to both the logistics of acquiring a robot and the need for expert knowledge in setting it up. In this paper, we address these concerns by developing a purely virtual simulation of a robotic system. Our proposed framework enables natural human-robot interaction through a visually immersive representation of the workspace. The main advantages of our approach are the following: (i) independence from a physical system, (ii) flexibility in defining the workspace and robotic tasks, and (iii) an intuitive interaction between the operator and the simulated environment. Not only does our system provide an enhanced understanding of 3D space to the operator, but it also encourages a hands-on way to perform robot programming. We evaluate the effectiveness of our method in applying novel automation assignments by training a robot in virtual reality and then executing the task on a real robot.

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