Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology found that when robots move in a more human-like fashion, with one movement leading into the next, that people can not only better recognize what the robot is doing, but they can also better mimic it themselves. The research is being presented today at the Human-Robot Interaction conference in Lausanne, Switzerland.
“It’s important to build robots that meet people’s social expectations because we think that will make it easier for people to understand how to approach them and how to interact with them,” said Andrea Thomaz, assistant professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech’s College of Computing.
Thomaz, along with Ph.D. student Michael Gielniak, conducted a study in which they asked how easily people can recognize what a robot is doing by watching its movements.
“Robot motion is typically characterized by jerky movements, with a lot of stops and starts, unlike human movement which is more fluid and dynamic,” said Gielniak. “We want humans to interact with robots just as they might interact with other humans, so that it’s intuitive.”
Using a series of human movements taken in a motion-capture lab, they programmed the robot, Simon, to perform the movements. They also optimized that motion to allow for more joints to move at the same time and for the movements to flow into each other in an attempt to be more human-like. They asked their human subjects to watch Simon and identify the movements he made.
“When the motion was more human-like, human beings were able to watch the motion and perceive what the robot was doing more easily,” said Gielniak.
In addition, they tested the algorithm they used to create the optimized motion by asking humans to perform the movements they saw Simon making. The thinking was that if the movement created by the algorithm was indeed more human-like, then the subjects should have an easier time mimicking it. Turns out they did.
“We found that this optimization we do to create more life-like motion allows people to identify the motion more easily and mimic it more exactly,” said Thomaz.
The research that Thomaz and Gielniak are doing is part of a theme in getting robots to move more like humans move. In future work, the pair plan on looking at how to get Simon to perform the same movements in various ways.
“So, instead of having the robot move the exact same way every single time you want the robot to perform a similar action like waving, you always want to see a different wave so that people forget that this is a robot they’re interacting with,” said Gielniak.
David Terraso | Newswise Science News
New formulas for exploring the age structure of non-linear dynamical systems
23.01.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
Fighting myocardial infarction with nanoparticle tandems
04.12.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.
Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
23.01.2018 | Life Sciences
23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy