Tele-Presence for Tabletop Human-Robot Interaction


Meet RoboThespian

Cooperation between groups of people can be divided into two categories; co-located cooperation where all the members of the group are in one location, or remote cooperation where at least one of the members is at a different location.

In order to facilitate cooperation and promote collaboration some tools have been designed to cater for the demands of each specific category of cooperation. Tabletop devices such as the Microsoft Surface have been proven to be quite useful to groups in co-located settings but were not as useful when the members were non-co-located.

One of the reasons for this difference is the inadequate presence provided for the remote collaborator to the co-located members when the audio visual media are used, that is, the lack of a physical embodiment prevents decreases the immediacy component of the interaction. Our proposed solution in this project is the use of robots as tele-presence embodiments for the remote group members investigating the impact of such machines on the group behaviour.

With the use of such embodiments we attempt to create a physical presence in the immediate environment of the people around the tabletop device. As with any local presence the nature and behaviour of the embodiment will have an impact on the interaction. The behaviour aspect of the embodiments encompasses both the reproduction of social cues from the remote person and the human likeness of those social cues.

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Theme Leader

Project Supervisors


Mr Hamzah Hossen Mamode
Bristol Robotics Laboratory
University of the West of England
Coldharbour Lane 
Bristol, BS16 1QD
Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 86774

Page last updated 22 January 2019