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A pair of new, immersive technologies allows a person to
"inhabit" the body of a distant robot in this experiment con-
ducted in Germany.
The first is the haptic (touch in greek)system that
allows the operator to don a pair of gloves that can actually
"feel" what the robot feels when it contacts an object.
The second is tele-operated movement; as the person
moves, so does the robot.
How does it work?
The distant tele-operated robot is part of a wheeled platform.
The human operator makes the robot move around simply
by walking; feeds from twin cameras placed on top of the
robot's "head" provide images to goggles worn by the human
A glove worn by the operator controls a three-fingered hand
at the end of the robot's arm.
As the operator moves the glove, the robot's hand moves.
As the robot hand presses against an object, the operator
senses resistance to movement in his own glove.
Also, the operator's sense of being present with the robot is
enhanced by the sounds picked up by the robot's microphones.