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A Teleoperation Approach for Mobile Social Robots Incorporating Automatic Gaze Control and Three-Dimensional Spatial Visualization

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4 Author(s)
Mora, A. ; Adv. Telecommun. Res. Inst. Int., Kyoto, Japan ; Glas, D.F. ; Kanda, T. ; Hagita, N.

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.

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Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 3 )