Diploma and Master Theses (authored and supervised):

R. Sprung:
"Mobile Collaborating Robots for Direct Haptics in Mixed Reality";
Supervisor: H. Kaufmann; Visual Computing and Human-Centered Technology, 2021; final examination: 2021-04-12.

English abstract:
After technological advancements in computer graphics and miniaturization of electric circuits, virtual reality has finally found its way into the consumer market. Commercial VR systems like HTC īs Vive allow their wearers to experience virtual worlds realistically enough to feel audio-visually immersed. However, when interacting with the simulated environment, the limitations of such a system become apparent quickly. They o˙er no haptic capabilities or feedback beyond what is integrated in their hand-held input devices. Additional body-worn equipment, like haptic suits or exoskeletons, deliver only rudimentary haptic experiences or encumber the userīs ease of movement with excessive weight. Haptic hardware of the `encounterī type are often constrained to a specific location within the simulation area or deliver only soft touching sensations because of their highly mobile but fragile architecture. Therfore, this thesis covers the topic of creating a VR system with haptic feedback and describes its design and implementation in a room sized setup. The paper shows how a mobile manipulator, like the RB-Kairos, can be combined with a virtual reality headset, like the Vive, to deliver real world props into the hands of users to enhance their virtual experience. To track the manipulatorīs position with the same accuracy of the VR headset, the Viveīs Lighthouse tracking solution is integrated into the robot. On the software side, the system takes advantage of the Robot Operating System (ROS), which is already configured to control the robotīs basic functionality and is extended to include new modules handling the deliverance of haptic sensations. The simulation of the visual part of this project is handled by the gaming engine Unity, which features a variety of plugins suitable to create basic VR applications with minimal e˙ort. The communication between VR application, RB-Kairos and user is handled wirelessly via radio signals which allows unrestricted mobility for participants and robots within the simulation area. The subsequent technical evaluation o˙ers insights to operating parameters and lists potential enhancement and upgrade possibilities.

"Official" electronic version of the publication (accessed through its Digital Object Identifier - DOI)

Electronic version of the publication:

Created from the Publication Database of the Vienna University of Technology.