Implementing a Humanoid Tele-Robotic Prototype for Investigating Issues in Remote Collaboration
Martin Feick. (2017). Implementing a Humanoid Tele-Robotic Prototype for Investigating Issues in Remote Collaboration.
We designed and developed a novel system, ReMa (Remote Manipulator), for supporting remote collaboration on physical tasks through a physical telepresence humanoid robot. The system captures and reproduces object manipulations on a proxy object at a remote location. The prototype combines latest robotics and motion capture technologies, exploring their capabilities and limitations. We found that directly mapping human and robot action is problematic due to the arrangement and limits of the robot joints. We applied ReMa to investigate how limited perspective in current video-mediated systems affects remote collaboration. We also explored the impact of a physical proxy manipulated by a remote person. We conducted two user studies and contrasted the results with recent research systems designed for remote collaboration. Our main findings are: (1) a shared perspective is more effective and preferred compared to the opposing perspective offered by con- ventional video chat systems, and (2) the physical proxy and video chat complement one another in a combined system: people used the physical proxy to understand objects, and used video chat to perform gestures and confirm remote actions. These research findings validate both the design and implementation of ReMa as an effective research platform.