Overcoming occlusions in semi-autonomous telepresence systems

Sina Radmard, Elizabeth A. Croft

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther

5 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we present an occlusion handling system, applied to articulated telepresence platforms, that simultaneously reduces the control burden on the operator and ensures the continuity of the visual interaction. Articulated telepresence systems improve the sense of presence of the operator by allowing the operator to maintain facial contact even during a walking conversation. However, the additional control of the articulated system, along with controlling navigation and carrying on a conversation can distract the operator and degrade the telepresence experience for both parties. Thus, we propose a semi-autonomous system that, along with visual tracking, can help relieve the burden of managing the articulated platform by clearing occlusions that might arise between the telepresense platform and the second party (the interlocuter). In particular, we demonstrate the application of a lost target recovery algorithm (LTRA) in a telepresence system. As the nature of a telepresence system requires fast recovery from occlusions through smooth motions, we improve the applied LTRA performance by adopting a numerical Inverse Kinematics solver and introducing a Cartesian space sampling method to generate optimal clearing motions. Finally, to validate different occlusion clearing methods, we implement them on an articulated telepresense platform. Experimental results for various scenarios support the feasibility of our approach to quickly recover visual contact in telepresence systems communications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2013 16th International Conference on Advanced Robotics (ICAR)
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Advanced Robotics (ICAR) 2013 - Montevideo, Uruguay
Duration: 25 Nov 201329 Nov 2013
Conference number: 16th
https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/conhome/6755997/proceeding (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Advanced Robotics (ICAR) 2013
Abbreviated titleICAR 2013
Internet address


  • Lost Target Recovery Algorithm
  • occlusion
  • semi-autonomous
  • telepresence

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