ColabAR: A Toolkit for Remote Collaboration in Tangible Augmented Reality Laboratories

by | Apr 19, 2022

Authors: Ana Villanueva, Zhengzhe Zhu, Ziyi Liu, Feiyang Wang, Subramanian Chidambaram, Karthik Ramani
In the Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 6(CSCW1), 1-22

Current times are accelerating new technologies to provide high-quality education for remote collaboration, as well as hands-on learning. This is particularly important in the case of laboratory-based classes, which play an essential role in STEM education. In this paper, we introduce ColabAR, a toolkit that uses physical proxies to manipulate virtual objects in Tangible Augmented Reality (TAR) laboratories. ColabAR introduces haptic-based customizable interaction techniques to promote remote collaboration between students. Our toolkit provides hardware and software that enable haptic feedback to improve user experience and promote collaboration during learning. Also, we present the architecture of our cloud platform for haptic interaction that supports information sharing between students in a TAR laboratory. We performed two user studies (N=40) to test the effect of our toolkit in enriching local and remote collaborative experiences. Finally, we demonstrated that our TAR laboratory enables students’ performance (i.e., lab completion rate, lab scores) to be similar to their performance in an in-person laboratory.

Ana Villanueva

Ana Villanueva

Ana Villanueva is a first year DPhD student in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue. She obtained her bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas in Mechanical Engineering (2016). Her research interests involve the biomechanics behind human-computer interactions, data visualization and data analysis. Other research interests include the biomechanics of the human spine, the mechanical behavior of self-healing polymers and the design of walking aids for elderly patients. In her free time, Ana enjoys traveling with her friends, learning new languages, watching Dr. House and visiting her home country, Peru. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a member of Pi Tau Sigma, the International Mechanical Engineering Honor Society.