TORSO: Completion of Egocentric Telegnosis System

TORSO acquires natural visual information and accurately tracks the user's head motion. Earlier, conventional devices were only able to express the three-axis rotation of the neck, but TORSO goes beyond that capability to also express the neck's translational motion.

Enhanced Life

The device is positioned at a distance from and facing toward the user, who wears an HMD or HMP and experiences the image transmitted by TORSO: a view of the user as seen by a second person. In addition, the user can throw a soft object, such as a soft ball or a soft arrow, toward the device for interaction, which generates an uncanny ability to avoid or receive the object.

Goals

To develop a remote-meeting system that extends far beyond the traditional videophone and delivers a sensation of direct participation. The long-range goal of the project is creation of an entire telexistence system.

Innovations

The main feature of this system is that it can express the six degrees of freedom of the upper body plus the translational motion of the neck. It can also obtain natural visual information that is equivalent to human motion. Conventional imaging devices for head-mounted displays can achieve only three axes of rotation of the neck. TORSO achieves head motion in a remote environment that is very similar to human motion.

Vision

To achieve productive robot-human coexistence, human beings should be able to treat robots just as we treat ourselves. In the near future, using technologies like TORSO, we should be able to create a surrogate anthropomorphic robot that has a very high degree of realistic sensation and presence.

TORSO also has important implications for future shopping systems, in which we can actually experience products, and for entertainment and educational systems, in which we can see ourselves from the point of view of others.

Contact

Kouichi Watanabe
The University of Tokyo
Kouichi_Watanabe (at) ipc.i.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Contributors

Kouichi Watanabe
The University of Tokyo

Ichiro Kawabuchi
Mechanical Engineering Laboratory, Inc.

Naoki Kawakami
The University of Tokyo

Taro Maeda
Osaka University

Susumu Tachi
The University of Tokyo