Feeling walls virtual
Missions on foreign planets, therapies with phobic patients, and video games – in all three situations, avatars and teleoperators can be used. Telepresence via console has reached a high level already. In contrast to this, long-range telepresence means the operation of avatars and teleoperators by movement transmission rather than via a console. By simply walking around, the operator covers the same distance as his virtual alter ego or the robot he controls remotely. By movement compression, the curvature of the path is changed, such that a straight section of 30 m length of the avatar can be walked by the operator on an area of three by three meters. Scientists of the Chair for Intelligent Sensor-Actuator Systems (ISAS) of the Institute for Anthropomatics have developed this system, in which the position and location data of an operator are determined precisely 50 times per second. The updated view of the avatar is presented to the operator via a head-mounted display. Visual, acoustic, and proprioceptive impressions are complemented by haptic data to make the virtual or remote environment appear as realistically as possible. It may happen to the operator that he virtually comes up against a wall and also feels the resistance. This further development is achieved by the haptic interface consisting of a linear pre-positioning unit and a manipulator arm. For the user, this is a small lever he holds when walking around on the area of nine square meters. Actually, the prepositioning unit is an "intelligent" part of the system that moves the manipulator arm along two axes horizontally in space and can rotate around its own axis. The unit does not simply follow its owner, but goes ahead by pre-positioning. If the operator comes up against a geometrically known obstacle in the virtual or remote environment, the motors of the manipulator arm exert a counterforce. The operator feels the resistance and, thus, has a more realistic impression of the situation of his avatar.
Your contact person for this offer
Dr. Rainer Körber,
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Innovation Manager, Innovation and Relations Management (IRM)
Phone: +49 721 608-25587