Enabling heavy work machines to be operated remotely can bring many benefits, such as improved safety, ergonomics, flexibility, performance, and the structure of the machines. However, the technology currently available for remote operation does not allow for the desired level of performance, and the remote operator does not get a proper feel for the machine. The view from the machine and its complex environment is provided to the operator through multiple 2D displays, which the operator has to either simultaneously follow, or even switch between several camera feeds according to the current task. To make remote operation a viable, general solution, the feedback provided to the operator as well as the latency and precision of remote operation must be improved significantly. Digitizing the environment thoroughly and communicating it to the operator by utilizing a variety of senses forms a new concept of digital feel. Through this digital feel, a unique, immersive, and efficient way for remote operation can be provided.

The goal of RemoteFeel is to build a remote operation platform which allows companies to tailor remote operation solutions to their specific needs, and achieve working conditions where heavy work machines can be operated more efficiently, safely, and pleasantly.

RemoteFeel is a research project funded by Business Finland, FIMA ry (Forum for Intelligent Machines) and the research parties University of Tampere (UTA) and Tampere University of Technology (TUT). RemoteFeel is a two-year project, scheduled to end in February 2020. The design, development and evaluation of remote operation solutions will be carried out in close collaboration with 10 member companies of FIMA.