This paper introduces the notion of virtual fixtures for use in telepresence systems and presents an empirical study which demonstrates that such virtual fixtures can greatly enhance operator performance within remote environments. Just as tools and fixtures in the real world can enhance human performance by guiding manual operations, providing localizing references, and reducing the mental processing required to perform a task, virtual fixtures are computer generated percepts overlaid on top of the reflection of a remote workspace which can provide similar benefits. Like a ruler guiding a pencil in a real manipulation task, a virtual fixture overlaid on top of a remote workspace can act to reduce the mental processing required to perform a task, limit the workload of certain sensory modalities, and most of all allow precision and performance to exceed natural human abilities. Because such perceptual overlays are virtual constructions they can be diverse in modality, abstract in form, and custom tailored to individual task or user needs. This study investigates the potential of virtual fixtures by implementing simple combinations of haptic and auditory sensations as perceptual overlays during a standardized telemanipulation task.