Lightbee: Design and Implementation of a Self-Levitating Light Field Display for Telepresence
Communication between humans is not limited to the spoken word. We use a number of non-verbal cues such as facial expression, eye contact, body orientation and movement, among others. Research on display technology has made it possible to provide a convincing reconstruction of facial—and sometimes body—features preserving eye contact between local and remote users in telecommunication. A variety of light field displays have been developed to support eye contact in one-to-many teleconferencing scenarios. Unfortunately, most of these systems focus exclusively on display technology, disregarding mobility issues. Telepresence robots allow some degree of mobility. Self-levitating telepresence robots, such as blimps and drones, could move freely through the air. But they do not provide a three-dimensional appearance of a remote user. In this thesis, we present a telepresence system featuring a self-levitating light field display, LightBee. The display is a drone that flies a projection of a remote user's head in 3D in a space. The remote user’s head movements are used to control the movements of the drone, offering support for non-verbal communication through proxemics and eye contact across a distance. The light field display is created by a cylindrical retroreflective sheet mounted on a quadcopter. 45 projectors, mounted in a ring, project images onto the LightBee’s retroreflector, creating a light field providing motion parallax and stereoscopy without the aid of glasses. This allows multiple local users to experience a “hologrammatic” view of the remote user’s head, as seen from varying angles. Two small cameras mounted on LightBee allow the remote user to fly through and experience the local environment.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/23757
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