Immersive & Embodied Teleoperation Interfaces


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.




Stepanova, E. R., Schiphorst, T., Kitson, A., von der Heyde, M., & Riecke, B. E. (2017). Gathering and Apply Guidelines for TeleSpider Design for Urban Search and Rescue Applications on a Mobile Robot. Presented at the HCI International, Vancouver, BC, Canada.