, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 103-119
Date: 21 Mar 2014

Iterative design of a semi-autonomous social telepresence robot research platform: a chronology

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Our research focuses on how a telepresence robot operator, the people with the robot, and the robot itself collaborate so that the operator reaches his/her intended destination. Our research requires higher levels of autonomous navigation so that the robot can, for example, go to a specified destination and follow a person. However, commercial telepresence robots are primarily teleoperated, and only a few provide assisted navigation around obstacles. Our system must include sensors and processing to enable these capabilities. We present the chronology of our iterative design for augmenting two VGo Communications’ VGo robots, Hugo and Margo, over a period of 3 years. We detail the requirements and design constraints encountered while developing our telepresence robot platforms.