Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Internet-based Real-time obstacle avoidance of a mobile robot


In this research, a remote control system has been developed and implemented, which combines autonomous obstacle avoidance in real-time with force-reflective tele-operation. A teleoperated mobile robot is controlled by a local two-degrees-of-freedom force-reflective joystick that a human operator holds while he is monitoring the screen. In the system, the force-reflective joystick transforms the relation between a mobile robot and the environment to the operator as a virtual force which is generated in the form of a new collision vector and reflected to the operator. This reflected force makes the tele-operation of a mobile robot safe from collision in an uncertain and obstacle-cluttered remote environment. A mobile robot controlled by a local operator usually takes pictures of remote environments and sends the images back to the operator over the Internet. Because of limitations of communication bandwidth and the narrow viewangles of the camera, the operator cannot observe shadow regions and curved spaces frequently. To overcome this problem, a new form of virtual force is generated along the collision vector according to both distance and approaching velocity between an obstacle and the mobile robot, which is obtained from ultrasonic sensors. This virtual force is transferred back to the two-degrees-of-freedom master joystick over the Internet to enable a human operator to feel the geometrical relation between the mobile robot and the obstacle. It is demonstrated by experiments that this haptic reflection improves the performance of a tele-operated mobile robot significantly.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Arai, T., Ogata, H. and Suzuki, T., 1989, “Collision Avoidance among Multiple Robots Using Virtual Impedance,”Proc. of IEEE/RSJ Int. Workshop on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 479-485.

  2. Borenstein, J. and Koren, Y., 1988, “Obstacle Avoidance with Ultrasonic Sensors,”IEEE J. of Robotics and Automation, Vol. RA-4, No. 2, pp. 213–218.

  3. Borenstein, J. and Koren, Y., 1989, “Real-time Obstacle Avoidance for Fast Mobile Robots,”IEEE Trans, on System, Man and Cyberneties, Vol. 19, No. 5, pp. 1179–1187.

  4. Borenstein, J. and Koren, Y., 1990, “Teleautonomous Guidance for Mobile Robots,”IEEE Trans. on System, Man and Cybernetics, Vol. 20, No. 6, pp. 1437–1443.

  5. Elfes, A., 1987, “Sonar-Based Real-World Mapping and Navigation,”IEEE J. Robotics Automation, Vol. RA-3, No. 3, pp. 249–265.

  6. Elhajj, I., Xi, N., Fung, W. K., Liu, Y. H., Li, W. J., Kaga, T. and Fukuda, T., 2001, “Haptic Information in Internet-Based Teleoperation,”IEEE /ASME Trans. on Mechatronics, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp. 295–304.

  7. Hogan, N., 1985, “Impedance Control: An Approach to Manipulation Part I–III,”Transactions of ASME-Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control, Vol. 107, No. 3, pp. 1–24.

  8. Khatib, O., 1986, “Real Time Obstacle Avoidance for Manipulators and Mobile Robots,”International Journal of Robotics Research, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 90–96.

  9. Kim, W., Hannaford, B. and Bejczy, A., 1992, “Force-Reflection and Shared Compliant Control in Operating Telemanipulators with Time Delay,”IEEE Trans, on Robotics and Automation, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 176–185.

  10. Lawrence, D. A., 1993, “Stability and Transparency in Bilateral Teleoperation,”IEEE Trans, on Robotics and Automation, Vol.9, No. 5, pp. 624–637.

  11. Lee, S. S. and Lee, J. M., 2000, “Haptic Interface Design for the Tele-Surgery,”Proc. of the CIDAM Workshop on Service Automation and Robotics, Hong Kong, pp. 81-91.

  12. Ota, J., Arai, T., Yoshida, E., Kurabayashi, D. and Mori, T., 1995, “Real Time Planning Method for Multiple Mobile Robots,”Proc. of IEEE Int. Symposium on, Assembly and Task Planning, pp. 406-411.

  13. Roh, D. K., Kim, I. M., Kim, B. H. and Lee, J. M., 2001, “Localization of a Mobile Robot Using the Information of a Moving Object,”J. of Control, Automation and Systems Engineering, Vol. 7, No. 11, pp. 933–938.

  14. Zhao, Y. and BeMent, S. L., 1992, “Kinematics, Dynamics and Control of Wheeled Mobile Robots,”Proc. of IEEE Conf. Robotics and automation, pp. 91-96.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Jae Pyung Ko or Jang Myung Lee.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ko, J.P., Lee, J.M. Internet-based Real-time obstacle avoidance of a mobile robot. J Mech Sci Technol 19, 1290 (2005).

Download citation

Key Words

  • Tele-operation
  • Collision Vector
  • Force Reflection
  • Virtual Impedance
  • Obstacle Avoidance