This paper presents two components of a prototype system exploring the application of virtual reality (VR) and telepresence to remote robotic cleanup of hazardous materials. The goal is to provide an interface between the human operator and the robots and sensors used for handling such materials that is both easy to learn and intuitive and natural to use. Sandia National Laboratories has developed a model-based control system which uses graphical models of a remote environment to allow the operator to both control the robots and to monitor the operations as they occur. The work presented here looks at extending that paradigm to allow the operator to build the required graphical models interactively and to control the system via a multi-sensory, immersive VR interface.
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