It's not just broadcast quality or resolution that needs improvement, but the level of "telepresence": the sense of increased situational awareness that allows a robot driver to shoot and move and make fast decisions.
One possible upgrade is the three-axis Head-Aimed Remote Viewer (HARV), a dome enclosed, three-axel gimbal-mounted camera that slews around to match operator head movement. Wherever the soldier/operator looks, the unit instantly rotates to focus on that area. The operator's visual perception through the immersive binocular display is one of actually being onboard the vehicle, according to Chatten Associates.
It's not like watching a TV screen; it's more like standing there looking through slightly tinted glasses. Head-aiming capitalizes on the visual processing capability of the human mind yielding results that are three to four times faster than an ordinary pan/tilt systems with flat panel displays, according to the company. (See videos here.)
The way it stands now, operators must swerve the bot from side to side using a joystick to get a quick look around. But in this case, the operator's head position controls both the UGV sensors as well as where its weapon system is aimed. Head-aiming is twice as effective as the joystick-aiming, where tests showed that 15 percent of the hostile targets identified were actually friendly forces, according to Chatten.
The HARV includes optical and digital zoom, night vision, infrared illuminators and pointers, and stereo audio. It can also be controlled by a joystick, or a mouse control mounted on an infantryman's weapon's handgrip. This means the operator can keep his head up and not have to take his hands off his weapon.