is important because many future applications are likely to require such agents, and the task of designing appropriate psychological and physical models for ''driving" these agents is an extremely difficult one. With regard to computer generation of auditory images, spatialization, synthesis of environmental sounds, and auditory scene analysis are judged to be the most critical; in the haptic channel, because so few results are currently available, a wide array of research projects should be supported. Although certain components of some of these problems relate primarily to design of human-machine interface devices, others relate primarily to software.
Recommendations in the area of telerobotics that are not already included elsewhere concern: (1) the effects of communication time delays on teleoperator performance, (2) telerobotics hardware (structures, actuators, and sensors), (3) microtelerobotics, (4) distributed telerobotics, and (5) real-time computational architectures.
RECOMMENDATION: The committee recommends that support be given to improving control algorithms, improving methods for constructing and using predictive displays, and improving methods for realizing effective supervisory control strategies.
Unless communication delays are properly handled, teleoperator performance will be severely degraded and may, under certain circumstances, become unstable. In order to combat the effects of such delays, continued efforts should be directed toward the development of improved control algorithms that ensure stability and yet, to the extent possible, provide reasonable gains. At the same time, continued effort should be directed toward the development of improved methods for constructing and using predictive displays and for realizing effective supervisory control strategies. Advances in combatting the delay problem are required not only in connection with hazardous operations, but also in connection with certain components of telemedicine (particularly telesurgery).
RECOMMENDATION: The committee recommends work in four areas of hardware development: (1) multiaxis, high-resolution tactile sensors, (2) robot proximity sensors for local guidance prior to grasping, (3) multiaxis force sensors, and (4) improved actuator and transmission designs.
Multiaxis high-resolution tactile sensors are needed to provide the telerobot with an effective sense of touch. Robot proximity sensors are required to provide local guidance prior to grasping. Such guidance