Developing virtual interfaces for embodied tele-operation and locomotion.
How can we best design and implement an embodied telepresence system for tele-robotics, so we can safely explore remote, hard-to-reach, or potentially hazardous areas or situations?
The goal of the “TeleSpider” project is to design and implement a telepresence system where users can remotely operate a robotic spider-like device, giving individuals the ability to safely explore remote, hard-to-reach, or potentially hazardous areas or situations (e.g., ventilation shafts, chemical spills, collapsed buildings). The TeleSpider will, therefore, be able to perform remote surveillance tasks in place of humans in dangerous or inaccessible locations. Future developments include the potential for the TeleSpider to conduct problem solving tasks and assist in rescue operations. The TeleSpider hardware is currently being developed by Archiact Interactive, a virtual reality, mobile development and games company in Vancouver, B.C. The envisioned control system will allow a human operator to control the TeleSpider’s movement in a refined and intuitive manner, and show the three-dimensional perspective of the TeleSpider’s stereo vision to the operator without causing motion sickness or disorientation. Together with Archiact Interactive, we design and evaluate different interfaces that enables users to intuitively navigate and complete basic surveillance tasks with the TeleSpider. This can help protect humans when interacting with hazardous or problematic spaces, as well as innovate in virtual telepresence research for wide-ranging applications in virtual reality, games, entertainment and mechatronics.
We are currently expanding this work into the 3d dimension for flying tele-presence systems such as (non-military) drones such as quatrocopters.