Helping Robots Express Themselves When They Fail | AI

Designing robots that are capable of expressing what they aren't capable of doing
Image: Cornell & UC Berkeley

With some limited exceptions, are terrible at doing almost everything that humans take for granted. For people who work with robots, this is normal and expected, but for everyone else, it's not immediately clear just how terrible robots are, especially if the robot in question looks human-like enough to generate expectations of human-like capability. Bimanual mobile manipulators like PR2 are particularly bad, because with heads and bodies and arms, it's easy to look at them and think that they should have no problem doing all kinds of things. And then, of course, comes the inevitable disappointment when you realize that (among other things) round doorknobs make for an impassable obstacle. 

At the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction (HRI) earlier this month, researchers from Cornell and UC Berkeley presented some work on how robots can effectively themselves when they're incapable of doing a task. Rather than just failing to do something and then sitting there helpless and immobile, it would be much more useful if the robot could communicate what it's trying to accomplish along with why it's unable to accomplish it in simple, gestural terms that anyone can understand. 

You might also like

Comments are closed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. AcceptRead More