Investigating Active Tangible Proxies and Augmented Reality for Creativity Support in Remote Collaboration

PI: Sean Follmer


Physical manipulation is a key part of externalizing representations of knowledge and the creative process. However, todays tools for remote collaboration ignore physical manipulation and the haptic modality. We are interested in exploring remote physical manipulation in the context ideation and brainstorming in LEGO Serious Play and design thinking sessions. We believe that Augmented Reality can provide much of the benefits of spatial representation of remote participants, yet AR does not allow for rich physical manipulation and haptic feedback. Thus, we propose to use pairs of multi-robot system to provide synchronized haptic proxies in conjunction with the AR system. These small, tangible robots can be used directly as handles for digital models or assemble more complex physical proxy objects using magnetic blocks. To better understand the use of swarm user interfaces for remote collaboration will conduct two experiments: the first study will investigate tangible manipulation in remote shared manipulation tasks, the second will investigate the effect of active remote tangible manipulation in the context of Serious Play, design thinking, and creativity support.