Is Automation Appropriate? Semi-autonomous Telepresence Architecture Focusing on Voluntary and Involuntary Movements

Masahiko Osawa, Kohei Okuoka, Yusuke Takimoto, Michita Imai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This research aims to clarify the type of autonomous movements appropriate for telepresence robots. The design of telepresence robots’ autonomous movements should take into account both local and remote users. From the perspective of local users, we need autonomous movements that enhance a social telepresence in order to smooth remote communication. On the other hand, from the perspective of remote users, autonomous movements should be considered not only to reduce the operation load but also to address the danger of causing discomfort. However, in previous studies on automation, the criteria about which type of movements should be automated has remained unsettled. In this paper, we focused on voluntary and intentional movements as a classification type of movements that can be the criteria. Voluntary movements are intentional movements, whereas involuntary movements are movements without intention. To verify the effect of the automation of these movements, we developed a semi-autonomous telepresence robot that automates voluntary and involuntary movements. Then, we evaluated the impressions from local and remote users by conducting two experiments from each perspective. As a result, when not used in excess, local users evaluated both voluntary and involuntary autonomous movements positively, while it was suggested that automation of voluntary movements for remote users should be implemented with care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Social Robotics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020 Jan 1



  • Automation
  • Involuntary
  • Telepresence robot
  • Voluntary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)

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