When it comes right down to it, most telepresence robots are basically simply distant management tablets that may be managed throughout a room. The VRoxy system is completely different as a result of the robotic replicates the consumer’s actions, robotically sending itself to completely different places inside a given house.
The system is being developed by a group of researchers from Cornell and Brown universities.
In its present practical prototype type, the VRoxy robotic consists of a tubular plastic lattice physique with motorized omnidirectional wheels on the underside and a video display screen on the highest. Additionally on the high are a robotic index finger and a Ricoh Theta V 360-degree digicam.
The distant consumer merely wears a Quest Professional VR headset within the workplace, residence or wherever. This units VRoxy other than many different gesture-replicating telepresence methods, which require comparatively giant, complicated setups at each the consumer and viewer places.
By the headset, the consumer can swap between an immersive stay view of the robotic’s 360-degree digicam, or a pre-scanned 3D map view of the complete house the bot is in. As soon as they choose a vacation spot on that map, the robotic will proceed autonomously (assuming it is not there but). When it arrives, the headset robotically switches again to the first-person view of the bot’s digicam.
This performance not solely saves the consumer the trouble of getting to manually ‘drive’ the robotic from one place to a different, it additionally ensures that they don’t expertise the vertigo that may include watching a stay video feed from the bot whereas it’s in transit.
The VR headset displays the consumer’s facial expressions and eye actions and reproduces them in actual time on an avatar of the consumer, which is displayed on the robotic’s display screen. The headset additionally data head actions, which the robotic mimics by panning or tilting the display screen accordingly through a hinged holder.
And when the consumer bodily factors their finger at one thing within the headset’s view, the robotic’s index finger strikes in the identical path in the true world. Later, the researchers hope to equip the robotic with two user-controlled arms.
In a check of the present VRoxy system, the group has already used it to navigate forwards and backwards by a hallway between a laboratory and an workplace, the place a consumer collaborated with completely different folks on completely different duties.
The analysis is led by Mose Sakashita, Hyunju Kim, Ruidong Zhang and François Guimbretière of Cornell College, together with Brandon Woodard of Brown College. It’s described in a paper offered on the ACM Symposium on Person Interface Software program and Expertise in San Francisco.
Supply: Cornell College