Advanced robotic technology is opening up the possibility of integrating robots into the human workspace to improve productivity and decrease the strain of repetitive, arduous physical tasks currently performed by human workers. However, coordinating these teams is a challenging problem. We must understand how decision-making authority over scheduling decisions should be shared between team members and how the preferences of the team members should be included. We report the results of a human-subject experiment investigating how a robotic teammate should best incorporate the preferences of human teammates into the team's schedule. We find that humans would rather work with a robotic teammate that accounts for their preferences, but this desire might be mitigated if their preferences come at the expense of team efficiency.
Chakraborti, Tathagata (Arizona State University) | Talamadupula, Kartik (IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center) | Zhang, Yu (Arizona State University) | Kambhampati, Subbarao (Arizona State University)
As robots evolve into an integral part of the human ecosystem, humans and robots will be involved in a multitude of collaborative tasks that require complex coordination and cooperation. Indeed there has been extensive work in the robotics, planning as well as the human-robot interaction communities to understand and facilitate such seamless teaming. However, it has been argued that their increased participation as independent autonomous agents in hitherto human-habited environments has introduced many new challenges to the view of traditional human-robot teaming. When robots are deployed with independent and often self-sufficient tasks in a shared workspace, teams are often not formed explicitly and multiple teams cohabiting an environment interact more like colleagues rather than teammates. In this paper, we formalize these differences and analyze metrics to characterize autonomous behavior in such human-robot cohabitation settings.
Today, advancements and innovation have reached the next level where everything is automated and is done automatically. This new breakthrough has driven the world to a new scenario where humans and robots can work together. For now, most autonomous systems or robots seem to work with driving vehicles, vacuuming home floors or turning lights on and off, caring elderly, gardening crops and picking fruits, and much more. These machinery systems are getting good enough as they are able to work alongside the human workforce in a shared space as teammates. Just like smartphones and social media that provide connectivity beyond our imagination, robots have started to offer physical and cognitive abilities to humans they never expected before.
Over the last five years, and while developing an architecture for autonomous service robots in human environments, we have identified several key decisional issues that are to be tackled for a cognitive robot to share space and tasks with a human. We introduce some of them here: situation assessment and mutual modelling, management and exploitation of each agent (human and robot) knowledge in separate cognitive models, natural multi-modal communication, "human-aware" task planning, and human and robot interleaved plan achievement. As a general "take home" message, it appears that explicit knowledge management, both symbolic and geometric, proves to be a successful key while attempting to address these challenges, as it pushes for a different, more semantic way to address the decision-making issue in human-robot interactions.
The second international conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI-2007) was held in Arlington, Virginia, March 9-11, 2007. The theme of the conference was "Robot as Team Member" and included posters and paper presentations on teamwork, social robotics, adaptation, observation and metrics, attention, user experience, and field testing. One hundred seventy-five researchers and practitioners attended the conference, and many more contributed to the conference as authors or reviewers. HRI-2008 will be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands from March 12-15, 2008.