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.
“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.
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,
Dr. Utz Lederbogen | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Million funding for Deep Learning project in Leipzig
15.08.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)
Advanced Grant for Grain Boundary Phase Transformations
06.08.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences
15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy