Home & building automation
- Next generation automation systems
- Agent technology based automation systems
- Home automation
- HMI technologies and telepresence
- Remote diagnostic and maintenance support systems
- Teleoperation of mobile robots and Working Machines
- Cognitive HMI technology
HMI technologies and Telepresence
Telepresence augmented with virtual reality is a new interesting research area with numerous different application possibilities. Research has been carried out in the laboratory since 1994. Telepresence means that the operator is "transferred" with his/her senses to the remote site (which can be a robotic vehicle or a worksheet) by the aid of a mechanical "virtual" head carrying cameras and microphones. The head follows the movements of the operator's head. Augmented reality again means that various 3D objects, representing e.g. the working environment or details of the work that the operator performs with the robot, are mixed with real-time video images. This information can be used in many ways, for example to improve the performance and safety of the teleoperation of mobile robotic vehicles.
The augmented telepresence system developed first for this purpose includes in addition a remotely controllable laser range finder by the aid of which the operator can show points or measure dimensions in the remote environment. This makes it possible to build up a virtual model of the environment interactively e.g. for teleoperation purposes.
As a part of the TEKES national program on "Multimedia Applications in Industry" the laboratory had the ETÄLÄ project that ended at the end of 1999. A virtual reality assisted remote maintenance and diagnostics system, which is a communications tool between an expert and the maintenance people working at a remote site, was developed.
Using the achievements of ETÄLÄ –project new project is under planning. In the TerveTaas project virtual reality assisted teleprecence is used in home care.