MeBot – A robotic platform for socially embodied telepresence

The MeBot is a semi-autonomous robotic avatar that gives a person a richer way to interact remotely with an audience than is allowed with phone and video conferencing. The robot […]

The MeBot is a semi-autonomous robotic avatar that gives a person a richer way to interact remotely with an audience than is allowed with phone and video conferencing. The robot was designed with an emphasis on being able to convey the non-verbal channels of social communication. That is, it is able to communicate some body posture, a wide range of head movement and very expressive hand gestures. It takes advantage of the current advanced technology in wireless communications and the ever-expanding capabilities of mobile devices. MeBot is a push toward a future where remote presence can be achieved easily in a way that saves traveling time but still achieves the same experience as “being there”.


We conducted an experiment that evaluated how people perceived a robot-mediated operator differently when they used a static telerobot versus a physically embodied and expressive telerobot. Results showed that people felt more psychologically involved and more engaged in the interaction with their remote partners when they were embodied in a socially expressive way. People also reported much higher levels of cooperation both on their own part and their partners as well as a higher score for enjoyment in the interaction.


This work received a best paper nomination at HRI2010

Related publications:

  • Sigurdur Orn Adalgeirsson. Mebot, a Robotic Platform for Socially Embodied Telepresence. In Proceedings of the fifth ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI-10). ACM/IEEE International, 2010. [Best paper nomination]
    Link

In printed media:

  • FrankfurterRundschau [March 30th, 2010]

In on-line media:

About Siggi