Framework for Embodied Telepresence: A Meeting Case Study

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Virginia Tech

Current video conferencing tools lack a sense of presence. Telepresence can improve the current video conferencing by providing feeling of presence at a different location from remote location. Most recent telepresence systems are built with the devices that are not accessible and uncomfortable for the daily meeting purpose. This work proposes a framework for embodied telepresence system that suits a daily meeting case the best. Based on our new telepresence framework, a new system architecture and design requirements are constructed. The system architecture shows how the telepresence system needs to be structured, and a design requirement helps to understand the needs of the system. With this framework we were able to implement a user friendly and accessible telepresence system. Our telepresence system enables users to control the telepresence robot with smartphone controller. The controller has four features: (1) Smartphone orientation control, (2) Position save and playback, (3) Local smart light bulb control, and (4) visual cue. At the end, our work evaluates the developed telepresence system by measuring the performances of given tasks to the participants. The evaluation shows that our system provides a sense of presence to both remote and local users. However, the proposed telepresence framework and system requires farther improvements to provide better usability.

Telepresence, Framework, Virtual Meeting, Human Computer Interaction