Animatronic shader lamps avatars

Lincoln, Peter; Welch, Greg; Nashel, Andrew; State, Andrei; Ilie, Adrian; Fuchs, Henry
June 2011
Virtual Reality;Jun2011, Vol. 15 Issue 2/3, p225
Academic Journal
pplications such as telepresence and training involve the display of real or synthetic humans to multiple viewers. When attempting to render the humans with conventional displays, non-verbal cues such as head pose, gaze direction, body posture, and facial expression are difficult to convey correctly to all viewers. In addition, a framed image of a human conveys only a limited physical sense of presence-primarily through the display's location. While progress continues on articulated robots that mimic humans, the focus has been on the motion and behavior of the robots rather than on their appearance. We introduce a new approach for robotic avatars of real people: the use of cameras and projectors to capture and map both the dynamic motion and the appearance of a real person onto a humanoid animatronic model. We call these devices animatronic Shader Lamps Avatars (SLA). We present a proof-of-concept prototype comprised of a camera, a tracking system, a digital projector, and a life-sized styrofoam head mounted on a pan-tilt unit. The system captures imagery of a moving, talking user and maps the appearance and motion onto the animatronic SLA, delivering a dynamic, real-time representation of the user to multiple viewers.


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