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Sunday, September 26, 2010


Telerobotics is the area of robotics concerned with the control of robots from a distance, chiefly using wireless connections (like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, the Deep Space Network, and similar), "tethered" connections, or the Internet. It is a combination of two major subfields, teleoperation and telepresence.

Telerobotics is a very important and quickly expanding field in the face of faster processors, new algorithms, and higher expectations. There are many important telerobotics applications in use today, ranging from space exploration, to biomedical applications, to hazardous area exploration. The leader in this field is NASA. As NASA looks to more distant stars, there is a need for more advanced technology. In investigating this new technology, NASA is developing commercializable applications which rely upon space telerobotics technologies In so doing NASA hopes to improve the national economic competitiveness of the United States and improve the technology transfer efforts. Applications here on Earth serve the dual purpose of providing the means for test and demonstration in realistic operational test environments. The well understood and easily accessible environments on Earth provide a myriad of possibilities of problems that might occur in space. One of the most useful environments for several of the space applications is undersea environments. As a result, many of the technologies have been put to use underwater.

Telerobots are useful in semi- structured to unstructured environments. They can perform non repetitive tasks with an incomplete model of the task environment. One of the main difficulties encountered with telerobots is the variable time delay between operator and manipulator. For instance, it takes longer for instructions to travel from Earth to Mars, than it would for instructions to travel between two rooms in the same building. In the time that it takes instructions to reach Mars, there could have been a change in environment.


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