Interactive social robots to participate in AAAI’s Annual Mobile Robot Challenge

Grace and George, a pair of socially skilled robots developed by a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, the Naval Research Laboratory and Swarthmore College, will participate in the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) annual Mobile Robot Competition and Exhibition July 27-29, at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, Calif.

Grace and George are six-foot-tall, socially adept, autonomous talking robots with digitally animated faces. The robots will work as a team to complete AAAI’s Open Interaction Task, which involves interacting with conference attendees in an unstructured environment.

Grace will “work” at a booth, communicating information about the conference and schedule, while George circulates among the crowd, interacting with people, answering their questions and escorting them to conference locations. Grace will contact George and schedule times for “him” to meet and escort people to various locations. Those being escorted will put on a specially colored hat, and George will lead them to their destinations.

Though the robots have participated in AAAI’s challenge since 2002, their role in this year’s conference poses a new challenge.

“Having George and Grace operating throughout the conference ? not just for an hour, but working throughout the duration ? is more of a challenge,” said project coordinator Reid Simmons, research professor in Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute. “We’re pushing for a sustained presence by the robots so people can interact with them at their leisure.”

He added that the group chose to participate in Open Interaction Task instead of the Robot challenge because they wanted to showcase the human-robot interaction focus of the Grace and George project.

Grace competed in AAAI’s Robot Challenge in 2002 where she acted as a conference attendee. She managed to find her way to the registration booth at the Edmonton Convention Center, Alberta, Canada, register for the conference, navigate to an elevator, and find the third-floor conference room where she gave a PowerPoint presentation about herself.

At future conferences, Simmons says the team will continue to focus on human-robot interaction, with hopes of developing reliable speech recognition and creating robots that would fill the role of volunteer workers at the conference.

For more information on Grace and George, see http://www.ri.cmu.edu/projects/project_522.html.

Media Contact

Anne Watzman EurekAlert!

All latest news from the category: Information Technology

Here you can find a summary of innovations in the fields of information and data processing and up-to-date developments on IT equipment and hardware.

This area covers topics such as IT services, IT architectures, IT management and telecommunications.

Back to home

Comments (0)

Write a comment

Newest articles

Building lighter with concrete

How concrete 3D printing saves material and CO2. “As soon as climate compatibility comes into play we have to look at mineral building materials. And this is where the really…

Optical cavities could provide new technological possibilities

Light and molecules behave in very special ways in optical cavities. Don’t think this is important to you? It may be soon. A research team from the Norwegian University of…

Finding superconductivity in nickelates

Arizona State physicist uses intuition, supercomputers to identify new high-temperature superconductor. The study of superconductivity is littered with disappointments, dead-ends, and serendipitous discoveries, according to Antia Botana, professor of physics at…

Partners & Sponsors