People often enjoy sharing outdoor activities together such as walking and hiking. However, when family and friends are separated by distance it can be difficult if not impossible to share such activities. We explore this design space by investigating the benefits and challenges of using a telepresence robot to support outdoor leisure activities. In our study, participants participated in the outdoor activity of geocaching where one person geocached with the help of a remote partner via a telepresence robot. We compared a wide field of view (WFOV) camera to a 360° camera. Results show the benefits of having a physical embodiment and a sense of immersion with the 360° view. Yet challenges related to a lack of environmental awareness, safety issues, and privacy concerns resulting from bystander interactions. These findings illustrate the need to design telepresence robots with the environment and public in mind to provide an enhanced sensory experience while balancing safety and privacy issues resulting from being amongst the general public.
Yasamin Heshmat, Brennan Jones, Xiaoxuan Xiong, Carman Neustaedter, Anthony Tang, Bernhard E. Riecke, Lillian Yang. Geocaching with a Beam: Shared Outdoor Activities through a Telepresence Robot with 360 Degree Viewing. In Proceedings of the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '18). ACM, New York, NY, USA Page: 1-13. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3173574.3173933