Human-Robot Interaction

There are many challenges in designing robots to interact with humans. We are particularly looking at how to design robots to assist people. Many people who would most benefit from the assistance of a robot are from vulnerable populations, e.g., older adults and children with autism. For robots in these scenarios, extra measures are necessary to ensure that the robot is protecting the dignity and autonomy of the user.

Hint Engine

The Hint Engine generates an action for a robot to take to assist a user. To determine when and how to assist, the Hint Engine integrates information from a domain model, assistance model, and need model. To enable the Hint Engine to adapt to new scenarios, it uses a hierarchical task network to represent domains in which the robot is to operate.

Robot Explanations and User Preferences

We are developing a system for Preferences, Assistance, and eXplanations (PAX). In this system, commonsense reasoning is applied to track and update user preferences and provide users with explanations of the robot's actions.

Robot Detection of Social Cues

See Multimodal Interaction