Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Holonomic Multi-Ball Locomotion and Adaptive Gaze Assisted Control for Mobile Remote Presence Systems
by Gebre, Biruk A., Ph.D., Stevens Institute of Technology, 2018, 224; 10928877
Abstract (Summary)

Mobile remote presence (MRP) systems combine traditional video conferencing with mobility and allow users the freedom to move and freely interact with people in a distant environment. They are increasingly being used in a variety of application domains including healthcare, eldercare, office environments, and education. Mobility enables the selection of the appropriate location, pose and face-to-face level interactions for effective communication with a remotely located group of people. By removing the initiation and setup burden associated with traditional video conferencing systems and giving users control of how and where they interact with people, MRP systems can allow for both formal and spontaneous remote communications and better transmission of subtle non-verbal cues, which are important for effective real-time interpersonal communication.

In this thesis methods for enhancing MRP mobility and enabling more effective user interaction are explored. To increase the maneuverability of the mobile robot a holonomic multi-ball mobility platform that utilizes spherical wheels is presented and a novel magnetically coupled ball drive that can minimize slip during high acceleration maneuvers is designed and prototyped. Numerous multi-ball configurations with varying physical and performance characteristics are also generated and compared.

Low latency transmission of video, audio, and mobility-control data is required for real-time operation and effective communication using MRP systems. Video data consumes the most bandwidth and can be challenging to transmit in real-time on variable or low bandwidth wireless networks. Based on an empirical evaluation of user sensitivity to video frame rate, resolution, and compression quality the design of a user interface that utilizes eye tracking to enable adaptive multi-resolution gaze compression is also presented and validated for use on low bandwidth network conditions. The developed methodologies aim to reduce the operational burden and provide more natural interactions between local and remote participants to enable a more immersive telepresence experience.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pochiraju, Kishore V.
Commitee: Cluett, Seth, Englot, Brendan, Esche, Sven, Salloum, Hady
School: Stevens Institute of Technology
Department: Mechanical Engineer
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-B 80/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Engineering, Mechanical engineering, Robotics
Keywords: Adaptive video compression, Holonomic motion, Magnetically coupled ball drive, Mobile remote presence, Multi-resolution video, Spherical wheel
Publication Number: 10928877
ISBN: 978-0-438-83674-7
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