Polly: "Being There" through the Parrot and a Guide


Telepresence systems usually lack mobility. Polly, a wearable telepresence device, allows users to explore remote locations or experience events remotely by means of a person that serves as a mobile “guide”. We built a series of hardware prototypes and our current, most promising embodiment consists of a smartphone mounted on a stabilized gimbal that is wearable. The gimbal enables remote control of the viewing angle as well as providing active image stabilization while the guide is walking. We present qualitative findings from a series of 8 field tests using either Polly or only a mobile phone. We found that guides felt more physical comfort when using Polly vs. a phone and that Polly was accepted by other persons at the remote location. Remote participants appreciated the stabilized video and ability to control camera view. Connection and bandwidth issues appear to be the most challenging issues for Polly-like systems.