Evaluating the Augmented Reality Human-Robot Collaboration System
This paper discusses an experimental comparison of three user interface techniques for interaction with a mobile robot located remotely from the user. A typical means of operating a robot in such a situation is to teleoperate the robot using visual cues from a camera that displays the robot’s view of its work environment. However, the operator often has a difficult time maintaining awareness of the robot in its surroundings due to this single ego-centric view. Hence, a multi-modal system has been developed that allows the remote human operator to view the robot in its work environment through an Augmented Reality (AR) interface. The operator is able to use spoken dialog, reach into the 3D graphic representation of the work environment and discuss the intended actions of the robot to create a true collaboration. This study compares the typical ego-centric driven view to two versions of an AR interaction system for an experiment remotely operating a simulated mobile robot. One interface provides an immediate response from the remotely located robot. In contrast, the Augmented Reality Human-Robot Collaboration (AR-HRC) System interface enables the user to discuss and review a plan with the robot prior to execution. The AR-HRC interface was most effective, increasing accuracy by 30% with tighter variation, while reducing the number of close calls in operating the robot by factors of ~3x. It thus provides the means to maintain spatial awareness and give the users the feeling they were working in a true collaborative environment.