User Interface Tradeoffs for Remote Deictic Gesturing


Telepresence robots can help to connect people by providing videoconferencing and navigation abilities in faraway environments. Despite this potential, current commercial telepresence robots lack certain nonverbal expressive abilities that are important for permitting the operator to communicate effectively in the remote environment. To help improve the utility of telepresence robots, we added an expressive, nonmanipulating arm to our custom telepresence robot system and developed three user interfaces to control deictic gesturing by the arm: onscreen, dial-based, and skeleton tracking methods. A usability study helped us evaluate user presence feelings, task load, preferences, and opinions while performing deictic gestures with the robot arm during a mock order packing task. The majority of participants preferred the dial-based method of controlling the robot, and survey responses revealed differences in physical demand and effort level across user interfaces. These results can guide robotics researchers interested in extending the nonverbal communication abilities of telepresence robots

2019 IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication