Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Computer Science

Major Professor

Robin Murphy, Ph.D.


Teleoperation, Rescue robots, Remote presence, Distributed systems, Java


To facilitate the emerging need for remote robot training and reach back, this thesis describes a system that allows for convenient web browser based robot operation over the Internet, while providing the means for recording and playback of all video, data and user actions. Training of first responder personnel on rescue robots is hindered by the fact that these devices are very expensive and are only affordable by a few specialized organizations that make them available by request at the time of a disaster. The system described in this thesis will allow first responders to practice on the robots without having to be physically present at same location. Having these capabilities of remote presence, the system can also be used in a real world response to transmit robot video and data to persons not present at the site of the incident, such as structural engineers or medical doctors.

The recording capability will be used as an aid during training and to help resolve accountability issues in the real world scenario. Similar demands in the area of network video surveillance are met by the use of a network DVR that records and relays video and controls between IP cameras and Internet clients. The server implemented in this thesis is unique in that it extends these capabilities to include data from various robot sensors. All of the mentioned above video, data, and controls are combined into a convenient web browser based graphical user interface. The server was implemented and tested using rescue robots, but could be tailored to any other distributed robot architecture where reliable and convenient web browser based robot operation over the Internet is desired.

System testing validated server capabilities of remote multi user robot operation, as well as its unique ability to store and play back external camera view along with robot video and data, to help with situation awareness. Conclusions drawn from the experiments indicate that this system can indeed be used for Internet robot training, as well as for other robotics research such as bandwidth regulation techniques or human-robot interaction studies by non computer science researchers who do not have physical access to robots.