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Teleoperating Assistive Robots: A Novel User Interface for Remote Manipulation and Navigation Relying on Semi-Autonomy and Global 3D Environment Mapping
Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic.
Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic.
Stuttgart Media University, Germany.
Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic.
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2014 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Despite remarkable progress of service robotics in recent years, it seems that a fully autonomous robot which would be able to solve everyday household tasks in a safe and reliable manner is still unachievable. To overcome thisproblem, we present solution for a semi-autonomous robot where a remote human operator may take over the robot control from an autonomous system to quickly asses the situation and carry out subtasks which cannot be finishedautomatically. A key component of our solution is the user interface based on a mixed reality 3D environment and fused sensor data which provides a high level of situational and spatial awareness for teleoperation as well as for telemanipulation. The robot control is based on low-cost commodity hardware, optionally including a 3D mouse and stereoscopic display. The interface requires only a brief training and allows short task completion times even when operated by novice users. Its usefulness was verified in two controlled experiments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Service robot, elderly care, user interface, human-robot interaction
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-106201OAI: diva2:714551
Available from: 2014-04-28 Created: 2014-04-28 Last updated: 2014-04-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Human-Robot Interaction for Semi-Autonomous Assistive Robots: Empirical Studies and an Interaction Concept for Supporting Elderly People at Home
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Human-Robot Interaction for Semi-Autonomous Assistive Robots: Empirical Studies and an Interaction Concept for Supporting Elderly People at Home
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Människa-robotinteraktion för semi-autonoma robotar : Empiriska studier och ett interaktionskoncept för att stödja äldre i hemmiljö
Abstract [en]

The research addresses current shortcomings of autonomous service robots operating in domestic environments by considering the concept of a semi-autonomous robot that would be supported by human remote operators whenever the robot cannot handle a task autonomously. The main research objective was to investigate how to design the human-robot interaction for a robotic system to assist elderly people with physical tasks at home according to this conceptual idea. The research procedure followed the principles of human-centered design and is structured into four phases:

In the first phase, the context of use of the system to be designed was determined. A focus group study yielded characteristics and attitudes of several potential user groups. A survey determined the demands of elderly people and informal caregivers for services a semiautonomous assistive robot may provide. An ethnographic study investigated the living conditions of elderly people and determined technical challenges for robots operating in this type of environment. Another ethnographic study investigated the work environment in teleassistive service centers and determined the feasibility of extending their range of services to incorporate robotic teleassistance.

In the second phase, two studies were carried out to understand the interaction requirements. The first study determined common types of failure of current autonomous robots and required human interventions to resolve such failure states. The second study investigated how the human assistance could be provided considering a range of potential interaction devices.

In the third phase, a human-robot interaction concept with three user groups and dedicated user interfaces was designed. The concept and user interfaces were refined in an iterative process based on the results of evaluations with prospective users and received encouraging results for user satisfaction and user experience.

In the fourth and final phase the utility of two specific user interface features was investigated experimentally. The first experiment investigated the utility of providing remote operators with global 3D environment maps during robot navigation and identified beneficial usage scenarios. The second experiment investigated the utility of stereoscopic display for remote manipulation and robot navigation. Results suggested temporal advantages under stereoscopic display for one of three investigated task types and potential advantages for the other two.

Abstract [sv]

Forskningen behandlar problem med autonoma robotar som agerar i hemmiljö. Specifikt studeras konceptet semi-autonoma robotar, vilket innebär att robotarna stöds av mänskliga operatörer när de inte klarar uppgifter på egen hand. Syftet med forskningen är att undersöka design av människa-robotinteraktion för robotsystem som stöder äldres behov av hjälp med fysiska uppgifter i hemmiljö. Forskningen är användarcentrerad och har strukturerats i fyra faser:

I den första fasen undersöktes användarkontexten för systemet. I en fokusgruppsstudie utforskades karakteristika och attityder för flera potentiella användargrupper. Kraven på en semi-autonom robot för att assistera äldre och informella vårdgivare fastställdes. En enkätstudie undersökte levnadsvillkor hos äldre för att utforska tekniska utmaningar dessa omgivningar ställer på robotar. En etnografisk studie undersökte arbetskontexten på servicecenter för teleassistans och undersökte genomförbarhet i att utöka tjänsteutbudet till att även inkludera teleassisterade robotar.

I den andra fasen utfördes två studier för att få kunskap om interaktionskrav. Den första studien fastställde vanliga typer av fel som inträffar med nuvarande typer av autonoma robotar och de typer av mänsklig assistans som krävs för att hantera dessa fel. Den andra studien undersökte hur mänsklig assistans kan utformas givet en repertoar av potentiella interaktionsanordningar.

I den tredje fasen utformades ett interaktionskoncept för människa-robot interaktionen för tre användargrupper med dedicerade gränssnitt. Koncepten och användargränssnitten förfinades i en iterativ process baserat på resultat från utvärderingar med tänkta användare, och resulterade i uppmuntrande resultat vad gäller användarnas uppskattning och tillfredsställelse.

I den fjärde och sista fasen studerades nyttan hos två specifika gränssnitt experimentellt. Det första experimentet undersökte nyttan med att ge operatörer på distans globala 3D-kartor under robotnavigeringen och identifierade användarscenarier där detta kan utnyttjas. Det andra experimentet undersökte nyttan med en stereoskopisk display för att manipulera och navigera roboten på distans. Resultaten visar på temporala fördelar med stereoskopisk display för en av tre undersökta uppgiftstyper och potentiella fördelar för de andra två.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 65 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 620
Semi-autonomous assistive robots, human-robot interaction, user interface design, teleoperation, telemanipulation, elderly people, global environment maps, stereoscopy, Semi-autonoma robotar, människa-robotinteraktion, gränssnittsdesign, distansstyrning, distansmanipulation, äldre, globala omgivningskartor, stereoskopisk
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105738 (URN)10.3384/diss.liu-105738 (DOI)978-91-7519-319-9 (print) (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-05-23, Visionen, building B, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2014-04-28 Created: 2014-04-04 Last updated: 2014-06-04Bibliographically approved

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Mast, Marcus
Human Computer Interaction

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