Defining Preferred and Natural Robot Motions in Immersive Telepresence from a First-Person Perspective

by   Katherine J. Mimnaugh, et al.

This paper presents some early work and future plans regarding how the autonomous motions of a telepresence robot affect a person embodied in the robot through a head-mounted display. We consider the preferences, comfort, and the perceived naturalness of aspects of piecewise linear paths compared to the same aspects on a smooth path. In a user study, thirty-six subjects (eighteen females) watched panoramic videos of three different paths through a simulated museum in virtual reality and responded to questionnaires regarding each path. We found that comfort had a strong effect on path preference, and that the subjective feeling of naturalness also had a strong effect on path preference, even though people consider different things as natural. We describe a categorization of the responses regarding the naturalness of the robot's motion and provide a recommendation on how this can be applied more broadly. Although immersive robotic telepresence is increasingly being used for remote education, clinical care, and to assist people with disabilities or mobility complications, the full potential of this technology is limited by issues related to user experience. Our work addresses these shortcomings and will enable the future personalization of telepresence experiences for the improvement of overall remote communication and the enhancement of the feeling of presence in a remote location.


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