Together with a team of students, professors, and researchers from the
the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,
I worked on the development of SHARC: SHared Autonomy for Remote Collaboration.
SHARC is a multi‑modal user interface that enables remote scientists to perform
high‑level tasks using an underwater manipulator, while deferring low‑level
control to the robot.
SHARC consists of four parts:
- on-shore users (scientists);
- shore server;
- ship server;
The data from the robot is streamed up to the ship via a fiber optic cable.
The pilot onboard the ship chooses which data streams to forward onto the
shore-side server, which distributes the data to the on-shore users that are
connected to it.
Distributing the data through a central on-shore server, allows us to (i) support
multiple users logged in simultaneously, (ii) support multi-user operations where
scientists with different skills and field of experise can cooperatively perform
a complex task, and (iii) render the bandwidth requirements on the connection link
between the ship and the shore independent on the number of connected users.
The pilot can also choose if and who (among the users connected) can command the
robot. Robot monitoring and control is condensed into a single 3D multi-modal
user interface. SHARC's UI features a natural language interface for hands-free
interaction, classical 3D viewers available for Linux, MacOS, and Windows,
VR headset and controllers for immersive experience.