We present an approach for creating conceptual representations of human-made indoor environments using mobile robots. The concepts refer to spatial and functional properties of typical indoor environments. Following findings in cognitive psychology, our model is composed of layers representing maps at different levels of abstraction. The complete system is integrated in a mobile robot endowed with laser and vision sensors for place and object recognition. The system also incorporates a linguistic framework that actively supports the map acquisition process, and which is used for situated dialogue. Finally, we discuss the capabilities of the integrated system.
A long-standing goal of AI is to enable robots to plan in the face of uncertain and incomplete information, and to handle task failure intelligently. This paper shows how to achieve this. There are two central ideas. The first idea is to organize the robot's knowledge into three layers: instance knowledge at the bottom, commonsense knowledge above that, and diagnostic knowledge on top. Knowledge in a layer above can be used to modify knowledge in the layer(s) below. The second idea is that the robot should represent not just how its actions change the world, but also what it knows or believes. There are two types of knowledge effects the robot's actions can have: epistemic effects (I believe X because I saw it) and assumptions (I'll assume X to be true). By combining the knowledge layers with the models of knowledge effects, we can simultaneously solve several problems in robotics: (i) task planning and execution under uncertainty; (ii) task planning and execution in open worlds; (iii) explaining task failure; (iv) verifying those explanations. The paper describes how the ideas are implemented in a three-layer architecture on a mobile robot platform. The robot implementation was evaluated in five different experiments on object search, mapping, and room categorization.
The paper describes experience with applying a user-centric design methodology in developing systems for human-robot teaming in Urban Search and Rescue. A human-robot team consists of several semi-autonomous robots (rovers/UGVs, microcopter/UAVs), several humans at an off-site command post (mission commander, UGV operators) and one on-site human (UAV operator). This system has been developed in close cooperation with several rescue organizations, and has been deployed in a real-life tunnel accident use case. The human-robot team jointly explores an accident site, communicating using a multi-modal team interface, and spoken dialogue. The paper describes the development of this complex socio-technical system per se, as well as recent experience in evaluating the performance of this system
The paper presents an HRI architecture for human-augmented mapping, which has been implemented and tested on an autonomous mobile robotic platform. Through interaction with a human, the robot can augment its autonomously acquired metric map with qualitative information about locations and objects in the environment. The system implements various interaction strategies observed in independently performed Wizard-of-Oz studies. The paper discusses an ontology-based approach to multi-layered conceptual spatial mapping that provides a common ground for human-robot dialogue. This is achieved by combining acquired knowledge with innate conceptual commonsense knowledge in order to infer new knowledge. The architecture bridges the gap between the rich semantic representations of the meaning expressed by verbal utterances on the one hand and the robot's internal sensor-based world representation on the other. It is thus possible to establish references to spatial areas in a situated dialogue between a human and a robot about their environment. The resulting conceptual descriptions represent qualitative knowledge about locations in the environment that can serve as a basis for achieving a notion of situational awareness.
An approach to dialogue based interaction for resolution of ambiguities encountered as part of Human-Augmented Mapping (HAM) is presented. The paper focuses on issues related to spatial organisation and localisation. The dialogue pattern naturally arises as robots are introduced to novel environments. The paper discusses an approach based on the notion of Questions under Discussion (QUD). The presented approach has been implemented on a mobile platform that has dialogue capabilities and methods for metric SLAM. Experimental results from a pilot study clearly demonstrate that the system can resolve problematic situations.
Abstract-There are many different approaches to building a system that can engage in autonomous mental development. In this paper, we present an approach based on what we term self-understanding, by which we mean the explicit representation of and reasoning about what a system does and does not know, and how that knowledge changes under action. We present an architecture and a set of representations used in two robot systems that exhibit a limited degree of autonomous mental development, which we term self-extension. The contributions include: representations of gaps and uncertainty for specific kinds of knowledge, and a goal management and planning system for setting and achieving learning goals.
The paper presents an approach to intelligent, interactive people following for autonomous robots. The approach combines robust methods for simultaneous localization and mapping and for people tracking in order to yield a socially and environmentally sensitive people following behavior. Unlike current purely reactive approaches ("nearest point following") it enables the robot to follow a human in a socially acceptable way, providing verbal and non-verbal feedback to the user where necessary. At the same time, the robot makes use of information about the spatial and functional organization of its environment, so that it can anticipate likely actions performed by a human, and adjust its motion accordingly. As a result, the robot's behaviors become less reactive and more intuitive when following people around an indoor environment. The approach has been fully implemented and tested.
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