Unwinding Rotations Improves User Comfort with Immersive Telepresence Robots

Markku Suomalainen, Basak Sakcak, Adhi Widagdo, Juho Kalliokoski, Katherine J. Mimnaugh, Alexis P. Chambers, Timo Ojala, Steven M. Lavalle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We propose unwinding the rotations experienced by the user of an immersive telepresence robot to improve comfort and reduce VR sickness of the user. By immersive telepresence we refer to a situation where a 360° camera on top of a mobile robot is streaming video and audio into a head-mounted display worn by a remote user possibly far away. Thus, it enables the user to be present at the robot's location, look around by turning the head and communicate with people near the robot. By unwinding the rotations of the camera frame, the user's viewpoint is not changed when the robot rotates. The user can change her viewpoint only by physically rotating in her local setting; as visual rotation without the corresponding vestibular stimulation is a major source of VR sickness, physical rotation by the user is expected to reduce VR sickness. We implemented unwinding the rotations for a simulated robot traversing a virtual environment and ran a user study (N=34) comparing unwinding rotations to user's viewpoint turning when the robot turns. Our results show that the users found unwound rotations more preferable and comfortable and that it reduced their level of VR sickness. We also present further results about the users' path integration capabilities, viewing directions, and subjective observations of the robot's speed and distances to simulated people and objects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHRI 2022 - Proceedings of the 2022 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781538685549
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event17th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, HRI 2022 - Sapporo, Japan
Duration: Mar 7 2022Mar 10 2022

Publication series

NameACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction
ISSN (Electronic)2167-2148


Conference17th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, HRI 2022


  • VR sickness
  • head-mounted dis-play
  • telepresence
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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