RobotAR: An Augmented Reality Compatible Teleconsulting Robotics Toolkit for Augmented Makerspace Experiences

by | Jun 7, 2021

Authors: Ana Villanueva, Zhengzhe Zhu, Ziyi Liu, Xin Du, Joey Huang, Kylie Peppler, Karthik Ramani
In Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Distance learning is facing a critical moment finding a balance between high quality education for remote students and engaging them in hands-on learning. This is particularly relevant for project-based classrooms and makerspaces, which typically require extensive trouble-shooting and example demonstrations from instructors. We present RobotAR, a teleconsulting robotics toolkit for creating Augmented Reality (AR) makerspaces. We present the hardware and software for an AR-compatible robot, which behaves as a student’s voice assistant and can be embodied by the instructor for teleconsultation. As a desktop-based teleconsulting agent, the instructor has control of the robot’s joints and position to better focus on areas of interest inside the workspace. Similarly, the instructor has access to the student’s virtual environment and the capability to create AR content to aid the student with problem-solving. We also performed a user study which compares current techniques for distance hands-on learning and an implementation of our toolkit.

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.