Human Perception-Optimized Planning for Comfortable VR-Based Telepresence
This letter introduces an emerging motion planning problem by considering a human that is immersed into the viewing perspective of a remote robot. The challenge is to make the experience both effective (such as delivering a sense of presence), and comfortable (such as avoiding adverse sickness symptoms, including nausea). We refer this challenging new area as human perception-optimized planning, and propose a general multiobjective optimization framework that can be instantiated in many envisioned scenarios. We then consider a specific VR telepresence task as a case of human perception-optimized planning, in which we simulate a robot that sends 360 video to a remote user to be viewed through a head-mounted display. In this particular task, we plan trajectories that minimize VR sickness (and thereby maximize comfort). An A* type method is used to create a Pareto-optimal collection of piecewise linear trajectories while taking into account criteria that improve comfort. We conducted a study with human subjects touring a virtual museum, in which paths computed by our algorithm are compared against a reference RRT-based trajectory. Generally, users suffered less from VR sickness, and preferred the paths created by the presented algorithm.