Telerobotic Operation Combined with Automated Vehicle Control

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of SPIE - Photonics East


Society of Photo-optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)



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This paper describes the design and control of a scaled robotic vehicle that can function in two modes: telerobotic manual mode and automated mode. In the telerobotic manual mode, a steering console with a steering wheel and gas pedal is used to get steering and speed commands from human operator. These commands are transmitted to a microcontroller on the vehicle using a wireless serial data link. The microcontroller then converts these commands into PWM cycles that drive the motor and the steering servo of the vehicle. In the automated mode, steering and speed commands are extracted from video images of the road ahead of the vehicle. These images are captured by a wireless camera on the vehicle that sends them to a control computer. Using a frame grabber with DSP for image processing, information is generated about the vehicle's position on the road. This information serves as input to a controller that calculates steering commands to keep the vehicle in the road center. The design and testing of this dual mode robotic vehicle is performed in the flexible low-cost automated scaled highway laboratory at Virginia Tech, where scale models of vehicles are designed for that purpose.


Automatic control; Remote control; Robots — Control systems; Vehicles; Remotely piloted


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