A Teleoperation Approach for Mobile Social Robots Incorporating Automatic Gaze Control and Three-Dimensional Spatial Visualization
IEEE Transactions on Systems Man Cybernetics-Systems, 43(3), pp 630-642, 2013-5
The teleoperation of mobile social robots requires operators to understand facial gestures and other nonverbal communication from a person interacting with the robot. It is also critical for the operator to comprehend the surrounding environment in order to facilitate both navigation and human-robot interaction. Allowing the operator to control the robot's gaze direction can help the operator observe a person's nonverbal communication; however, manually actuating a gaze increases the operator's workload and conflicts with the use of the robot's camera for navigation. To address these problems, the authors developed a teleoperation system that combines automatic control of the robot's gaze and a 3-D graphical representation of the surrounding environment, such as location of items and configuration of a shop. A study where a robot plays the role of a shopkeeper was conducted to validate the effectiveness of the proposed gaze-control technique and control interface. It was demonstrated that the combination of automatic gaze control and representations of spatial relationships improved the quality of the robot's interaction with the customer.
Human-robot interaction (HRI); partial autonomy; social mobile robot; spatial relationships; teleoperation; workload