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GestureCam: Remote Surrogate

The cameras in MAJIC and Hydra cannot be controlled by remote users. As a result, a user cannot point to or look at arbitrary objects in the room of a remote collaborator. GestureCam [] illustrates how this problem may be overcome. For each remote collaborator (currently the systems supports only one) it places a surrogate device at the local site that can be controlled by the remote user. The device has three degrees of freedom, carries a camera and a laser pointer, which points in the same direction as the camera. The remote collaborator can move the camera in three dimensions to view and point at different objects in the room. Two different user interfaces are provided to allow a user to control a remote surrogate. First, a physical replica of the surrogate (without the camera and pointer) is placed at the local site, which can be turned and moved to invoke corresponding actions in the remote robot. Second, an image of the remote room captured by a wide-area lens is projected onto a touch-sensitive screen. When a user touches an object displayed in the screen, the remote surrogate automatically points towards it. The system has been used to instruct operators how to assemble a breadboard circuit, connect two portable computers, and share files between two computers.

Prasun Dewan
Tue Jan 28 17:46:09 EST 1997