This thesis presents a series of efforts formulating a new paradigm of social robotics and developing prototype robot systems for exploring robotic user interfaces (RUIs) designs in the context of robot mediated telecommunication. Along with four academic articles previously produced by the author, this thesis seeks to answer how one could create a technological framework for designing physically embodied interpersonal communication systems. To provide an understanding of interpersonal robot mediator systems, the thesis introduces a concept of Bidirectional Telepresence Robots and presents the technical requirements of designing such robotic platforms. The technical architecture is described along with the development of anthropomorphic social mediators, CALLY and CALLO, that implemented robot gesture messaging protocols and robot animation techniques. The developed robot systems suggest a set of design insights that can guide future telepresence robot developments and the RUI designs. As for technological achievements from the study, the details of the robot design, construction, applications, user interfaces, as well as the software structure for the robot control and information processing are described. A thorough literature review on social robotics and multi-modal user interfaces are provided. This work is one of the earliest takes that not only opens up academic discussions on bidirectional telepresence robots and mobile phone based robot platforms but also inspires the industry new markets for robotic products with artificial personalities.
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Thesis advisor: Shaw, Chris
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