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Proceedings Paper

Augmented reality to enhance an active telepresence system
Author(s): Alison Wheeler; John R. G. Pretlove; Graham A. Parker
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Paper Abstract

Tasks carried out remotely via a telerobotic system are typically complex, occur in hazardous environments and require fine control of the robot's movements. Telepresence systems provide the teleoperator with a feeling of being physically present at the remote site. Stereoscopic video has been successfully applied to telepresence vision systems to increase the operator's perception of depth in the remote scene and this sense of presence can be further enhanced using computer generated stereo graphics to augment the visual information presented to the operator. The Mechatronic Systems and Robotics Research Group have over seven years developed a number of high performance active stereo vision systems culminating in the latest, a four degree-of-freedom stereohead. This carries two miniature color cameras and is controlled in real time by the motion of the operator's head, who views the stereoscopic video images on an immersive head mounted display or stereo monitor. The stereohead is mounted on a mobile robot, the movement of which is controlled by a joystick interface. This paper describes the active telepresence system and the development of a prototype augmented reality (AR) application to enhance the operator's sense of presence at the remote site. The initial enhancements are a virtual map and compass to aid navigation in degraded visual conditions and a virtual cursor that provides a means for the operator to interact with the remote environment. The results of preliminary experiments using the initial enhancements are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 December 1996
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2901, Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies III, (17 December 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.262998
Show Author Affiliations
Alison Wheeler, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)
John R. G. Pretlove, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)
Graham A. Parker, Univ. of Surrey (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2901:
Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies III
Matthew R. Stein, Editor(s)

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