A visuo-haptic augmented reality (VHAR) interface is presented enabling an operator to teleoperate an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with a custom CdZnTe-based spectroscopic gamma-ray detector in outdoor environments. The task is to localize nuclear radiation sources, whose location is unknown to the user, without the close exposure of the operator. The developed detector also enables identification of the localized nuclear sources. The aim of the VHAR interface is to increase the situation awareness of the operator. The user teleoperates the UAV using a 3DOF haptic device that provides an attractive force feedback around the location of the most intense detected radiation source. Moreover, a fixed camera on the ground observes the environment where the UAV is flying. A 3D augmented reality scene is displayed on a computer screen accessible to the operator. Multiple types of graphical overlays are shown, including sensor data acquired by the nuclear radiation detector, a virtual cursor that tracks the UAV and geographical information, such as buildings. Experiments performed in a real environment are reported using an intense nuclear source.
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