Internet-based "online robots" now provide public access to remote locations such as museums and laboratories. The Tele-Actor is a collaborative online teleoperation system for distance learning that allows many students to simultaneously share control of a single mobile resource. Our goal is to preserve the educational advantages of field trips without the drawbacks of group travel. We propose the Spatial Dynamic Voting (SDV) interface for Multiple Operator Single Robot (MOSR) teleoperation. The SDV collects, displays, and analyzes a sequence of spatial votes from multiple online operators at their Internet browsers. The votes drive the motion of a single mobile robot or human "Tele-Actor". See www.tele-actor.net for details.
Users share control of the Tele-Actor from their Internet
browsers. Communication is coordinated with the Tele-Actor Server
located on a high bandwidth (T3) connection. The Server connects
via a socket to the Local Basestation at the remote site. The
Local Basestation and Local (human) Director communicate with the
Tele-Actor via a wireless interface. As the Tele-Actor moves
through the environment, video images are captured at the
Local Basestation and streamed back to the Tele-Actor server for
distribution as .jpg images to the remote voters. Voter responses
are collected at the Tele-Actor server, displayed for all active
voters and for the Local Director, who relays election results to
the Tele-Actor via a wireless audio channel.
Spatial Dynamic Voting Interface
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under IIS-0113147.