Real World Haptic Exploration for Telepresence of the Visually Impaired
Park, Chung Hyuk
Howard, Ayanna M.
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Robotic assistance through telepresence technology is an emerging area in aiding the visually impaired. By integrating the robotic perception of a remote environment and transferring it to a human user through haptic environmental feedback, the disabled user can increase one’s capability to interact with remote environments through the telepresence robot. This paper presents a framework that integrates visual perception from heterogeneous vision sensors and enables real-time interactive haptic representation of the real world through a mobile manipulation robotic system. Specifically, a set of multi-disciplinary algorithms such as stereovision processes, three-dimensional map building algorithms, and virtual-proxy haptic rendering processes are integrated into a unified framework to accomplish the goal of real-world haptic exploration successfully. Results of our framework in an indoor environment are displayed, and its performances are analyzed. Quantitative results are provided along with qualitative results through a set of human subject testing. Our future work includes real-time haptic fusion of multi-modal environmental perception and more extensive human subject testing in a prolonged experimental design.