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On the Importance of Environments in Human-Robot Coordination

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

When studying robots collaborating with humans, much of the focus has been on robot policies that coordinate fluently with human teammates in collaborative tasks. However, less emphasis has been placed on the effect of the environment on coordination behaviors. To thoroughly explore environments that result in diverse behaviors, we propose a framework for procedural generation of environments that are (1) stylistically similar to human-authored environments, (2) guaranteed to be solvable by the human-robot team, and (3) diverse with respect to coordination measures. We analyze the procedurally generated environments in the Overcooked benchmark domain via simulation and an online user study. Results show that the environments result in qualitatively different emerging behaviors and statistically significant differences in collaborative fluency metrics, even when the robot runs the same planning algorithm.


eXtended Artificial Intelligence: New Prospects of Human-AI Interaction Research

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) covers a broad spectrum of computational problems and use cases. Many of those implicate profound and sometimes intricate questions of how humans interact or should interact with AIs. Moreover, many users or future users do have abstract ideas of what AI is, significantly depending on the specific embodiment of AI applications. Human-centered-design approaches would suggest evaluating the impact of different embodiments on human perception of and interaction with AI. An approach that is difficult to realize due to the sheer complexity of application fields and embodiments in reality. However, here XR opens new possibilities to research human-AI interactions. The article's contribution is twofold: First, it provides a theoretical treatment and model of human-AI interaction based on an XR-AI continuum as a framework for and a perspective of different approaches of XR-AI combinations. It motivates XR-AI combinations as a method to learn about the effects of prospective human-AI interfaces and shows why the combination of XR and AI fruitfully contributes to a valid and systematic investigation of human-AI interactions and interfaces. Second, the article provides two exemplary experiments investigating the aforementioned approach for two distinct AI-systems. The first experiment reveals an interesting gender effect in human-robot interaction, while the second experiment reveals an Eliza effect of a recommender system. Here the article introduces two paradigmatic implementations of the proposed XR testbed for human-AI interactions and interfaces and shows how a valid and systematic investigation can be conducted. In sum, the article opens new perspectives on how XR benefits human-centered AI design and development.


Why Did the Robot Cross the Road? A User Study of Explanation in Human-Robot Interaction

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This work documents a pilot user study evaluating the effectiveness of contrastive, causal and example explanations in supporting human understanding of AI in a hypothetical commonplace human robot interaction HRI scenario. In doing so, this work situates explainable AI XAI in the context of the social sciences and suggests that HRI explanations are improved when informed by the social sciences.


A Hierarchical Architecture for Human-Robot Cooperation Processes

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In this paper we propose FlexHRC+, a hierarchical human-robot cooperation architecture designed to provide collaborative robots with an extended degree of autonomy when supporting human operators in high-variability shop-floor tasks. The architecture encompasses three levels, namely for perception, representation, and action. Building up on previous work, here we focus on (i) an in-the-loop decision making process for the operations of collaborative robots coping with the variability of actions carried out by human operators, and (ii) the representation level, integrating a hierarchical AND/OR graph whose online behaviour is formally specified using First Order Logic. The architecture is accompanied by experiments including collaborative furniture assembly and object positioning tasks.


On Human Robot Interaction using Multiple Modes

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Today robotics is a vibrant field of research and it has tremendous application potentials not only in the area of industrial environment, battle field, construction industry and deep sea exploration but also in the household domain as a humanoid social robot. To be accepted in the household, the robots must have a higher level of intelligence and they must be capable of interacting people socially around it who is not supposed to be robot specialist. All these come under the field of human robot interaction (HRI). Our hypothesis is- "It is possible to design a multimodal human robot interaction framework, to effectively communicate with Humanoid Robots". In order to establish the above hypothesis speech and gesture have been used as a mode of interaction and throughout the thesis we validate our hypothesis by theoretical design and experimental verifications.


Systems of natural-language-facilitated human-robot cooperation: A review

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Natural-language-facilitated human-robot cooperation (NLC), in which natural language (NL) is used to share knowledge between a human and a robot for conducting intuitive human-robot cooperation (HRC), is continuously developing in the recent decade. Currently, NLC is used in several robotic domains such as manufacturing, daily assistance and health caregiving. It is necessary to summarize current NLC-based robotic systems and discuss the future developing trends, providing helpful information for future NLC research. In this review, we first analyzed the driving forces behind the NLC research. Regarding to a robot s cognition level during the cooperation, the NLC implementations then were categorized into four types {NL-based control, NL-based robot training, NL-based task execution, NL-based social companion} for comparison and discussion. Last based on our perspective and comprehensive paper review, the future research trends were discussed.


Relational Enhancement: A Framework for Evaluating and Designing Human-Robot Relationships

AAAI Conferences

Much existing work examining the ethical behaviors of robots does not consider the impact and effects of long- term human-robot interactions. A robot teammate, col- laborator or helper is often expected to increase task performance, individually or of the team, but little dis- cussion is usually devoted to how such a robot should balance the task requirements with building and main- taining a “working relationship” with a human partner, much less appropriate social relations outside that team. We propose the “Relational Enhancement” framework for the design and evaluation of long-term interactions, which composed of interrelated concepts of efficiency, solidarity, and prosocial concern. We discuss how this framework can be used to evaluate common existing ap- proaches in cognitive architectures for robots and then examine how social norms and mental simulation may contribute to each of the components of the framework.


A Formal Framework for Studying Interaction in Human-Robot Societies

AAAI Conferences

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.


Coordination of Human-Robot Teaming with Human Task Preferences

AAAI Conferences

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.


Shared Awareness, Autonomy and Trust in Human-Robot Teamwork

AAAI Conferences

Teamwork requires mutual trust among team members. Establishing and maintaining trust depends upon alignment of mental models, an aspect of shared awareness. We present a theory of how maintenance of model alignment is integral to fluid changes in relative control authority (i.e., adaptive autonomy) in human-robot teamwork.