The Video Conference Tool Robot ViCToR
We present a robotic tool that autonomously follows a conversation to enable remote presence in video conferencing. When humans participate in a meeting with the help of video conferencing tools, it is crucial that they are able to follow the conversation both with acoustic and visual input. To this end, we design and implement a video conferencing tool robot that uses binaural sound source localization as its main source to autonomously orient towards the currently talking speaker. To increase robustness of the acoustic cue against noise we supplement the sound localization with a source detection stage. Also, we include a simple onset detector to retain fast response times. Since we only use two microphones, we are confronted with ambiguities on whether a source is in front or behind the device. We resolve these ambiguities with the help of face detection and additional moves. We tailor the system to our target scenarios in experiments with a four minute scripted conversation. In these experiments we evaluate the influence of different system settings on the responsiveness and accuracy of the device.
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