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Leaning-Based Control of an Immersive-Telepresence Robot

by   Joona Halkola, et al.
University of Oulu

In this paper, we present an implementation of a leaning-based control of a differential drive telepresence robot and a user study in simulation, with the goal of bringing the same functionality to a real telepresence robot. The participants used a balance board to control the robot and viewed the virtual environment through a head-mounted display. The main motivation for using a balance board as the control device stems from Virtual Reality (VR) sickness; even small movements of your own body matching the motions seen on the screen decrease the sensory conflict between vision and vestibular organs, which lies at the heart of most theories regarding the onset of VR sickness. To test the hypothesis that the balance board as a control method would be less sickening than using joysticks, we designed a user study (N=32, 15 women) in which the participants drove a simulated differential drive robot in a virtual environment with either a Nintendo Wii Balance Board or joysticks. However, our pre-registered main hypotheses were not supported; the joystick did not cause any more VR sickness on the participants than the balance board, and the board proved to be statistically significantly more difficult to use, both subjectively and objectively. Analyzing the open-ended questions revealed these results to be likely connected, meaning that the difficulty of use seemed to affect sickness; even unlimited training time before the test did not make the use as easy as the familiar joystick. Thus, making the board easier to use is a key to enable its potential; we present a few possibilities towards this goal.


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