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ITS Gamification: don’t break the dishes

Internship proposal

Background

Robot Rose assists people at home, and is controlled from a computer at a remote care center (See Figure 1). The Rose project has resulted in a working prototype, which is able to execute a few basic actions such as picking up and putting down objects.

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Figure 1: Robot Rose is controlled remotely from the remote care center

The Rose project aims to develop the concept “remote care with robots” further, by providing an advanced cockpit for controlling Rose from the care center and by increasing its abilities. In care, abilities of these robots are called Activities of Daily Life (ADLs).

Heemskerk Innovative Technology (HIT) aims to collaborate with Rose BV in providing the mentioned advanced cockpit whilst adding an ADL: doing the dishes. As a first step this ADL will be executed in virtual reality (See Figure 2). The Remote Handling Study Center (RHSC) is a state-of-the-art design facility in the attic of the FOM Rijnhuizen mansion in Nieuwegein. At the RHSC, HIT develops haptic telemanipulation and virtual reality for different fields, such as nuclear fusion, deep-sea and care. (See Figure 2).

The haptic telemanipulation environment is called the Interactive Task Simulator (ITS). ITS simulates a mechanical slave arm and its environment in soft real-time. It uses the nVidia PhysX SDK to simulate the physical interactions. ITS is programmed to interface with master devices and a virtual reality system called VR4Max (soon Unity is also supported). The software allows users to interactively control the simulation using real master devices, including the force feedback from the simulated environment.

Learning how to execute ADLs effectively may be best learned as a game. Cleaning plates and mugs in the virtual environment successfully should award the user bonus points, whilst dropping and breaking the dishes gives penalty points.

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Figure 2: Robot Rose washing the dishes virtually (left), Remote Handling master arm (right)

Assignment

Have users learn washing the dishes again through a virtual environment

  • Designing a scene with dishes
  • Support breakable physical objects in the virtual environment
  • Integrating registration of target goal
  • Working iteratively on an already existing product, taking both current and desired architecture and implementation into account

Work consists of

  • studying remote haptic telemanipulation
  • studying user interaction with dishes
  • developing and integrating it with ITS
  • having bi-weekly presentations of progress
  • writing an end report
  • final presentation
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