SEAN-EP

The SEAN Experiment Platform (SEAN-EP) allows deployment of the SEAN simulator at scale on the web. Through SEAN-EP, remote users can control the motion of a human avatar via their web browser and interact with a virtual robot controlled through the Robot Operating System (ROS). Experimental data can easily be recorded for later analysis of social robot navigation algorithms. SEAN-EP includes integration with the Qualtrics survey platform, making it possible to allow study participants to interact with SEAN from within the Qualtrics survey.

System

image

Using modern web technologies, the SEAN-EP can be embedded in a web-based survey form to allow quick collection data from online participants.

SEAN-EP consists of SEAN, our Unity and ROS-based simulator. It is described in detail in our SEAN setup instructions. In addition, SEAN-EP allows multiple instances of the simulation environment to be run concurrently via a web-based orchestration tool. Each simulator session is managed by the Process Manager, allowing many concurrent SEAN Sessions. NGINX, the Processes Manager, and a local Datastore are used to serve many SEAN Sessions to users via a standard web browser. Supporting web-scale data collection, SEAN-EP is able to scale horizontally using a session-aware load balancer.

Deploying SEAN-EP

Please see the README.md in the social_sim_web code for latest, detailed setup and usage instructions.

Survey Integration

Our simulation is integrated with the Qualtrics Survey Platform, which makes it easier for researchers to conduct large-scale social robot navigation experiments on the web.

Human Avatar Control

Please see the running the simulator section on how to control the human avatar.

Recording Experimental Data

SEAN-EP reports data via ROS topics. These include: avatar, robot, and player positions. Data recording can be done via rosbag.