Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research on “socially competent” robots

22.07.2015

Robots are omnipresent in our society, and we are facing the challenge of improving their social skills, i.e. their ability to perform interpersonal interactions, to such an extent that cooperation between robots and humans can be enabled in a safe, meaningful and intuitive manner. An international consortium involving cognitive scientists from Osnabrück University has now been awarded 3.7 million euro in funding by the European Commission under the “HORIZON 2020” program to conduct research on “socially competent” robots.

The groups of researchers from Barcelona, Berlin, Hamburg, Hannover, Hatfield (UK), Osnabrück and Stockholm are going to tread completely new paths.


Die Universität Osnabrück forscht im Rahmen eines internationalen Forschungskonsortiums am Roboter mit sozialer Kompetenz.

Foto: School of Computer Science and Communication, KTH, Schweden

“In contrast to the traditional approach of social interaction as a highly complex process of partners “reading each other’s thoughts”, in this project, social perception is to be considered as a function conveyed primarily by actions and their effects. To this end, human social understanding and behavior is to be explored and implemented in robots,” Osnabrück University’s cognitive scientist Professor Dr. Peter König explained.

Current research assumes that even highly complex social interactions are grounded in basic sensorimotor behavior patterns. These “socializing Sensori-Motor Contingencies” (socSMCs) are of vital significance for perceiving the world.

The key hypothesis of the new project implies that it is crucial to learn and master these contingencies between actions and effects in order to enable efficient social interaction. These mechanisms are to be investigated in further detail in interactions between people, people with autism and robots.

“The immediate objective of this project is to transfer the research results gained to information-theoretic and neurocomputational models, in order to train humanoid robots to socially interact with humans more efficiently, and also to gain a better understanding of how socSMCs work in the human brain, thus, for example, enabling people with autism to better integrate themselves in our society,” Professor König added.

The ambitious long term vision is to develop a new socially competent robot technology that is grounded in completely novel insights into what constitutes intact social behavior and what triggers associated functional disturbances.

Such new findings will pave the way for further theories and strategies to be tested in human-robot interaction and cooperation and to finally apply them for a multitude of assistant tasks by equipping control algorithms for robots with social competencies.

Project participants:
UKE UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER HAMBURG-EPPENDORF, Department of Neurophysiology and Pathophysiology; Professor Dr. Andreas K. Engel - coordination
UNIVERSITAT POMPEU FABRA, Department of Information and Communication Technologies, Professor Dr. Paul F.M.J. Verschure
OSNABRÜCK UNIVERSITY, Neurobiopsychology, Professor Dr. Peter König
KUNGLIGA TEKNISKA HOEGSKOLAN, School of Computer Science and Communication, Professor Danica Kragic
GOTTFRIED WILHELM LEIBNIZ UNIVERSITÄT HANNOVER, Institute of Sports Science, Professor Dr. Alfred Effenberg
WHITE MATTER LABS GMBH, Fabian Stelzer
THE UNIVERSITY OF HERTFORDSHIRE HIGHER EDUCATION CORPORATION, School of Computer Science, Dr. Daniel Polani
PAL ROBOTICS SL, Francesco Ferro

Additional information for the media:

Professor Dr. Peter König, Osnabrück University,
Institute of Cognitive Science,
Albrechtstraße 28, 49076 Osnabrück,
Tel.: +49 541 969 2399, Fax: +49 541 969 2596,
E-mail: peter.koenig@uni-osnabrueck.de
Internet: http://cogsci.uni-osnabrueck.de/~NBP/

Dr. Utz Lederbogen | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.uni-osnabrueck.de

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Radio astronomers score high marks in the competition for EU funding
12.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie

nachricht Europe wide cooperation on spinal cord injury research receives 1.34 Million Euros grant
12.12.2016 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>