Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Dr. Ilia G. Polushin


Drilling a borehole is a common method for extracting oil, gas, and natural resources from beneath the surface of the earth. The main topic of this Thesis is the design of control algorithms for virtual reality based telerobotic system with haptic feedback that allows for the remote control of the vertical drilling operation. The human operator controls the vertical penetration velocity using PHANTOM Omni haptic device while simultaneously receiving the haptic feedback from the locally implemented virtual environment. The virtual environment is rendered as a virtual spring with stiffness updated based on the estimate of the the stiffness of the rock currently being cut. Based on the existing mathematical models of drill-string/drive systems and rock cutting/penetration process, a robust servo controller is designed that guarantees tracking of the reference vertical penetration velocity of the drill bit. A scheme for online estimation of the rock stiffness is implemented. Simulations of the proposed control and parameter estimation algorithms have been conducted using MATLAB; consequently, the overall telerobotic drilling system with a human operator controlling the process using PHANTOM Omni haptic device is tested experimentally where the drilling process is simulated in real time using Open Haptics toolkit.