Robot Deletion

Using Immersive Virtual Reality to Hide the Robot During a Robot-assisted Motor Task

Experimental Setup. The task is to follow a path with the hand as fast and precise as possible.

Robotic devices are often combined with virtual reality (VR) to add visual feedback and enhance motivation in high-intensity robotic training. In this combination, the robot is normally not shown in the virtual environment. Using head-mounted displays we could completely visually delete the robot. This could create a sensory conflict between felt but unseen forces. However, it might also increase users' motivation as they might believe they are doing the task without any external help.

To investigate the impact of the visual robot deletion, a blinded within-subject pilot study with 28 healthy participants was carried out. Participants had to perform a path-following task in VR while being attached to a robot. The different conditions modulated the robot visibility in the VE and its assistance in the task.

The project was initiated in a master thesis by Mirjam Jordi (a student in the Biomedical Engineering program), where subjective reports of motivation, presence, and embodiment were assessed. The project was pursued in our laboratory with the analysis of task performance and gaze behavior. The recorded data are now being analyzed and a publication is in the writing process.



  • In redaction process.