Evaluation of a Coordinating Controller for Improved Task Performance in Multi-User Teleoperation
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In virtual reality as well as teleoperation the interaction between multiple users is impaired by the mediated signal exchange between partners. To answer challenges of such scenarios assistance functions taking the interaction into account need to be developed. In this work, a coordinating controller implementing a virtual coupling between the participants is evaluated. Goal of the controller is to improve movement synchronization between partners leading to higher overall performance. As the coupling may cost additional effort, the evaluation considers an efficiency measure which relates performance to effort. An experiment is conducted with 20 participants. Contrasting the presented approach to relevant control conditions shows that the proposed virtual coupling results in a significantly higher efficiency: the relative growth in performance exceeds the increase in effort. Hence, the coordinating controller can be concluded to be a beneficial assistance for haptic collaboration.