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Human-centered Evaluation of Shared Teleoperation System for Maintenance and Repair Tasks in Nuclear Power Plants

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Abstract

Haptic shared control is used for various remote operations in unstructured environments, but few studies have focused on human-centered experiments. Because the control effort, comfort, and fatigue experienced by human operators are significant factors in evaluating the performance of shared teleoperation systems, human-centered methods should be considered in experimental design. This study evaluates and analyzes the performance of a shared teleoperation system developed by the authors in a previous study for performing maintenance and repair tasks in nuclear power plants using human-centered experimental methods. This system applied three elementary technologies, namely egocentric teleoperation, virtual fixture, and vibration suppression control. To evaluate the developed system, we designed six experimental cases that combined elementary technologies. Twelve participants performed four repeated experiments in each case. Moreover, the teleoperation task was a maintenance and repair task in an environment imitating a nuclear power plant. Seven performance metrics were defined from the perspectives of the slave, master, and human operators. The evaluation indicators were defined as the completion time, trajectory length, and interaction force in terms of the slave; pressed button, moved distance, and steering angle in terms of the master; and NASA task load index and overall workload in terms of the human operator. As indicated by the experimental results, the developed system performed better than the conventional teleoperation system. In this study, we focus on human-centered experimental methods and evaluation for a developed teleoperation system that requires significant control efforts from the human operator.

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Correspondence to Hyoung Il Son.

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The authors declare that there is no competing financial interest or personal relationship that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

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This work was supported by the Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture and Forestry (IPET) through the Advanced Agricultural Machinery Industrialization Technology Development Program, funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) under Grant 320029-03, and in part by a Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) grant funded by the Korean Government (MOTIE)(P0008473, HRD Program for Industrial Innovation).

Chanyoung Ju received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Convergence Biosystems Engineering, Chonnam National University, Korea, in 2017, 2019, and 2022, respectively. His research interests include field robotics, supervisory control, discrete event systems, and hybrid systems.

Hyoung Il Son received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pusan National University, Korea, in 1998 and 2000, respectively, and his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Korea, in 2010. He also had several appointments both academia and industry as a Senior Researcher with LG Electronics, Pyeongtaek-si, Korea, from 2003 to 2005, and Samsung Electronics, Cheonan, Korea, from 2005 to 2009; a Research Associate with the Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, in 2010; and a Research Scientist with the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, from 2010 to 2012. From 2012 to 2015, he leads the Telerobotics Group, Central Research Institute, Samsung Heavy Industries, Daejeon, Korea, as a Principal Researcher. He joined the Faculty of the Department of Convergence Biosystems Engineering, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Korea, in 2015, where he is currently an Associate Professor. His research interests include field robotics, hybrid systems, systems and synthetic biology, and agricultural robotics.

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Ju, C., Son, H.I. Human-centered Evaluation of Shared Teleoperation System for Maintenance and Repair Tasks in Nuclear Power Plants. Int. J. Control Autom. Syst. 20, 3418–3432 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12555-021-0770-0

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