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Mechatronics applied to auditory localisation for telepresence

Harrison, C.S. and Mair, G.M. (1999) Mechatronics applied to auditory localisation for telepresence. Mechatronics, 9 (7). pp. 803-816. ISSN 0957-4158

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This paper describes the importance of the sense of hearing for immersive telepresence systems, and a fundamental approach to designing and implementing a binaural sensor system. This approach relies on knowledge of how the human auditory localisation mechanisms work to locate sounds in space, in order that a synthetic system can be derived. The most important of these mechanisms are explained. The Strathclyde auditory system is then described including ideas drawn from the literature to define a binaural approach. This novel system consists of a set of artificial pinnae and microphones mounted on a binocular stereo sensor platform capable of pan, tilt and roll which is slaved to a head tracking system. A set of preliminary experiments is described which test the performance of the system in practice, as a basis for further development.