Abstract

Telepresence and teleaction (TPTA) systems enable humans to operate in a remote, hostile, or inaccessible environment. The performance of these systems strongly depends on the deployed sensors and actuators and the quality of the feedback to the user. Spatial perception plays an especially important role when handling dangerous and fragile objects. Stereoscopic cameras and displays can be deployed to improve spatial perception. However, in networked TPTA scenarios with limited transmission capacity on the communication link, the additional bandwidth required for sending two separate video streams is often infeasible. Furthermore, stereoscopic displays are known to have limitations in quality that affect spatial orientation when navigating within the remote environment. In this work, we present methods for displaying remotely measured distance between a teleoperator and a target object through visual and vibrotactile displays in order to improve spatial perception in TPTA systems. Furthermore, we propose to exploit human sensory illusions of the vibrotactile sense to overcome limitations of vibrotactile displays. Psychophysical experiments are conducted to investigate the performance of our proposed display methods. Our experiments show that our proposed vibrotactile feedback methods can compete with visual distance displays.

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