Telerobotics, Automation, and Human Supervisory Control

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For the past three decades, the author and his colleagues in the MIT
Man-Machine Systems Laboratory have been carrying out experimental research in the area of teleoperation, telerobotics, and supervisory control - a new form of technology that allows humans to work through machines in hazardous environments and control complex systems such as aircraft and nuclear power plants. This timely reference brings together a variety of theories and technologies that have emerged in a number of fields of application, describing common themes, presenting experiments and hardware embodiments as examples, and discussing the advantages and the drawbacks of this new form of human-machine interaction.There are many places -
such as outer space, the oceans, and nuclear, biologically, and chemically toxic environments - that are inaccessible or hazardous to humans but in which work needs to be done. Telerobotics - remote supervision by human operators of robotic or semiautomatic devices - is a way to enter these difficult environments. Yet it raises a host of problems, such as the retrieval of sensory information for the human operator, and how to control the remote devices with sufficient dexterity. In its complete coverage of the theoretical and technological aspects of telerobotics and human-computer cooperation in the control of complex systems, this book moves beyond the simplistic notion of humans versus automation to provide the necessary background for exploring a new and informed cooperative relationship between humans and machines. Thomas B. Sheridan is Professor of Engineering and Applied Psychology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Contents: Introduction. Theory and
Models of Supervisory Control: Frameworks and Fragments. Supervisory Control of
Anthropomorphic Teleoperators for Space, Undersea, and Other Applications.
Supervisory Control in Transportation, Process, and Other Automated Systems. Social
Implications of Telerobotics, Automation, and Supervisory Control.

The MIT Press

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Editorial Reviews

In his discussion of topics ranging from fuzzy systems to social implications, the author draws on his research at MIT to present a broad based study of robotics. The emphasis is on the human-robot interface and how it can best evolve. Intended for undergraduate and graduate level engineering and computer science students. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262515474
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 8/12/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 415
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Theory and Model of Supervisory Control: Frameworks and Fragments
1.1 The Basic Supervisory Control Paradigm 13
1.2 Five Generic Supervisory Functions 13
1.3 Multiplicity of Loops and Levels in SC 16
1.4 Extensions of Manual Control Theory toward SC 28
1.5 Human-Attention-Allocation Models as Supervisory-Control Components 41
1.6 Fuzzy Logic as a Model of Human Knowledge 66
1.7 Relation of Artificial Intelligence to Supervisory Control 72
1.8 Cognition and Mental Models in Supervisory Control 75
1.9 Extending the Paradigm of Supervisory Function 87
1.10 Fitting the Extended Supervisory Control Functions to the Elements of the Modern Control Paradigm 93
1.11 Factors that Limit Our Ability to Model the Supervisory Controller 95
2 Supervisory Control of Anthropomorphic Teleoperators for Space, Undersea, and Other Applications 99
2.1 History of Teleoperators 99
2.2 Current Needs and Activities 108
2.3 Teleoperator Configurations and Coordinates 121
2.4 Supervisory Command Language 139
2.5 Television, Telephony, and Teleproprioception 156
2.6 Force Feedback and Impedance Control 172
2.7 Touch Sensing, Display, and Use 189
2.8 Telepresence and Virtual Presence 199
2.9 Special Problems Caused by Time Delay in Master-Slave Teleoperation 212
2.10 State Estimation, Decision Aiding, and On-Line Planning 227
2.11 Measuring Performance of Teleoperation 233
3 Supervisory Control in Transportation, Process, and Other Automated Systems 239
3.1 Aviation Automation 239
3.2 Automobiles: Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems 252
3.3 Nuclear Power Plants 263
3.4 Flexible Manufacturing Systems 271
3.5 Other Examples of Non-Anthropomorphic Telerobots 273
3.6 Goal Setting and Satisficing 274
3.7 Supervisory Monitoring Displays 287
3.8 Failure Detection, Diagnosis, and Location 293
3.9 Mental Workload 301
3.10 Intervention 309
3.11 Human Error 313
4 Social Implications of Telerobotics, Automation, and Supervisory Control 335
4.1 Trends toward Super, Tele, and Meta 335
4.2 The Intended Positive Effects of Telerobotics and Automation 335
4.3 Negative Implications of Telerobotics and Automation for the Individual: Separation and Alienation 337
4.4 Negative Implications of Telerobotics for Society 342
4.5 Trust in Technology 346
4.6 Is Using Technology to Love Harder than Using It to Hate? 353
4.7 How Far to Go with Automation 356
4.8 Roseborough's Dilemma, and a Possible Resolution 358
4.9 Other Dilemmas in Systems Design: Tilting in the Human Direction 360
4.10 Public Appreciation and Signs of Hope 363
References 365
Index 383
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