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First-person tele-operation of a humanoid robot

Lars Fritsche; Felix Unverzag; Jan Peters; Roberto Calandra
In: 15th IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots. IEEE-RAS International Conference on Humanoid Robots (Humanoids-2015), November 3-5, Seoul, Korea, Democratic People's Republic of, Pages 997-1002, IEEE, 2015.


Remote control of robots is often necessary to complete complex unstructured tasks in environments that are inaccessible (e.g. dangerous) for humans. Tele-operation of humanoid robots is often performed trough motion tracking to reduce the complexity deriving from manually controlling a high number of DOF. However, most commercial motion tracking apparatus are expensive and often uncomfortable. Moreover, a limitation of this approach is the need to maintain visual contact with the operated robot, or to employ a second human operator to independently maneuver a camera. As a result, even performing simple tasks heavily depends on the skill and synchronization of the two operators. To alleviate this problem we propose to use augmented-reality to provide the operator with first-person vision and a natural interface to directly control the camera, and at the same time the robot. By integrating recent off-the-shelf technologies, we provide an affordable and intuitive environment composed of Microsoft Kinect, Oculus Rift and haptic SensorGlove to tele-operate in first-person humanoid robots. We demonstrate on the humanoid robot iCub that this set-up allows to quickly and naturally accomplish complex tasks.

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