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Self-Encounter in Virtual Reality in Robot-Based Telepresence

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De Gruyter


Have you ever met yourself? Have you met your past? This report is meant to make a phenomenon known in which VR users at a break-in-presence do not fall back into the lab environment. However, we are not yet able to provide tangible evidence and systematic research about it. Setup: We describe a virtual reality application which originally was intended to provide control for a search and rescue robot. Due to a design requirement to use very limited resources, we developed a sparse representation of the past of the robot. The user encounters the past path of the robot in VR as a collection of 360° photo-spheres which each captures one instant. Multiple users of the application can individually review all past pictures. The most recent picture represents the current perspective of the robot. In addition, each user can interact with virtual objects, e. g., control the robot. Observation: According to perceptual research, breaks-in-presence might occur after sensory conflicts. An encounter of one’s self in VR introduces a perceptual and cognitive conflict. Users were able to realign with their own episodic memory and did not fall back into the lab environment as a result of this new type of break-in-presence.


von der Heyde, Markus (2019): Self-Encounter in Virtual Reality in Robot-Based Telepresence. i-com: Vol. 18, No. 1. DOI: 10.1515/icom-2018-0017. Berlin: De Gruyter. PISSN: 1618-162X. pp. 33-40. Research Article