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Robots in Human Environments

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Public lecture at Microsoft Research about the convergence of robots and artificial intelligence. This talk presented the development and how to approach generic software architectures for robots.

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Robots in Human Environments

  1. 1. Presented by: Alexander Braendle Andreas HeilRobots in Human Environments Date 12 Dec 2005
  2. 2. Introduction"Men Are From Mars, Robots Are From Mitsubishi“Financial Times (12/09/05) P. 9; Pincock, StephenAs Carnegie Mellon roboticist Daniel Wilson outlines in his book, "How to Survive a RobotUprising," the field of robotics has taken off in recent years, with researchers around the worlddeveloping robotic applications to do everything from vacuuming to exploring space alongsideman. Several Japanese companies are developing robots that can serve as in-homeassistants, link up to the Internet to respond to questions, and serve as a kind of companion.Toyota recently released its Partner Robot with the ability to play the trumpet through lipsendowed with sensitivity and fingers with human-like dexterity. The convergence of roboticsand artificial intelligence has enabled researchers to develop devices such as Sonys Qrio, asmall robot that knows to hold out its arms if it is falling, and can pick itself up from theground. Embodied intelligence seeks to equip robots with such cognitive abilities, thoughingraining many basic components of intelligence still eludes roboticists. Robots still cannotunderstand what gives an object its properties, though roboticists are working to give theircreations the ability to learn by experience. The international group of researchers workingtogether in the RobotCub project is trying to create a child-sized robot that can learn frominteractions with its environment, just as people do. Many researchers feel that peoplesperceptions of the role of robots must change if they will ever be accepted as legitimatecompanions. Mitsubishi has begun taking orders for its Wakamaru robot, an in-home personalassistant that wakes you up in the morning, reports the weather and the headlines, and thengreets you in the evening with any telephone messages. "We have tried to create a robot youcan have a relationship with," said Mitsubishis Ken Onishi.
  3. 3. What do we think about?• Increasing the intelligence of environments• Thinking future daily objects, appliances, architecture.• Personal(ized) Devices• R-H, H-R, H-R-H, R-E Interaction (Relationship)• Software & Tools
  4. 4. Robots in human environmentsFuture Applications• Support & Care, Education, EntertainmentPersonal Robotics• Human-robotics Interaction• Mediator between digital/real world• Natural and affective interaction (speech, gestures, emotions) From nature to software modelsNew programming paradigms• Body inspired software architecture (Pisa)• Meta-programming models (Berlin) What is needed that robots could be successfully integrated in our everyday life? What are key technical issues?
  5. 5. Robots!Already many commercial robotsavailable• Aibo• Asimo• Hoap• fischertechnik• Lego• …How to program them?• Different tools• Different programing paradigm• Different programing languages
  6. 6. Robots, too?Software• MS Agent• Internet Explorer• Media PlayerAdditional Hardware• Smartphone
  7. 7. Goal One language for all robots? One tool to rule them all?
  8. 8. VRDKBuilding a compelling & engagingprogrammable environment to play &learn for childrenInnovative, Very Easy, flexibleprogramming environment for Robotcontrol applicationsThat is accessible to non technicalmarket (children, nurse, elderly, machineoperator)That enables a ‘path’ from very simple(beginner, child) to professional (usingvisual studio) Abstracting complexity on different levels Source Code Visual Andreas
  9. 9. First AttemptBuild a framework (middleware)Abstract from the underlying hardware• i.e. classes for sensors, actuators, and communicationUnique programming model C o n t r o l a p p l ic a t io n• Can use every concept the runtime provides R o b o t AP IUse the .NET CLR and API C LR Sen s o rs an d actuato rs c o n tro ller
  10. 10. This wont always work!Things that work fine on a PC don’t scale down• Thread switches on a smart-phone or PDA are costly• FischerTechnik controller doesn’t support threads at allHardware not capable enough for a middleware• CPU, memory, battery, …Compact Framework: no serialization, no remoting, …• Even though PDAs are fairly powerful, CF has some severe restrictionsNow think of even smaller devices• Embedded controllers, wrist-watches, sensor networks, …
  11. 11. Bridging the GapModel-Driven ArchitecturePlatform Independent Model• High-level model of the application• Describes desired behaviour P IMPlatform Specific Model• Implementation of an application for model transformation a specific target platform (i.e. fischertechnik) PS MExecutable• The artifact that is eventually executed generation on the robots controller exec utable
  12. 12. Model-driven Development P l a t f o r m -in d e p e n d e n t m o d e l o f t h e p r o g r a m Same programming model (V R D K L a n g u a g e ) for different devices transformation transformation Platform-specific LEGO RC X F is c h e r T e c h n ik Smartph o n e realisation of the programm generation generation Executable or interpreterexec utable exec utable exec utable on target platform
  13. 13. VRDK & MDAExecutable !!Platform IndependentModel Model TransformationPlatform Proc1 Proc2 Proc1 Proc2 HandlerSpecificModels •CF.NET •.NET •RoboCode Simulator •static scheduling •runtime •multi threaded •single threaded scheduling •heavy usage of •multi threaded event handlers C# & VS.NET Project Other
  14. 14. VRDK Architecture • Rapid Prototyping • Program can be launched directly Application logic from the editor is executed on the PC. VRDK runs VRDK Editor Interpreter C# Code Generation uses runs VRDK Robots.NET uses Code Generation API Application logic can be executed on: • PC • PDA • Robot Hardware
  15. 15. Full Tool Chain Code generation VRDK Editor VS.NET Deploy and run Deploy and run the gentle shortcut target devices
  16. 16. Demo
  17. 17. Distribution and CommunicationVRDK has parallelism and communication• Have multiple robots/devices to interact• First class conceptUse communication of underlying platform• i.e. .NET Sockets, LEGO Infrared, Indigo, … PC future
  18. 18. VRDK API Structure (F is c h e r T e c h n ik ) Co n t r o l l e r Ac t u a t o r s Sen s o rs An a l o g S e n s o r D ig it a l S e n s o r(e .g . M o t o r s ) (e .g . H e a t S e n s o r ) (e.g. Touch Sensor)
  19. 19. Robotics4.Net
  20. 20. Interacting with HumansConsidering affects andemotions as basecomponents for designinginteraction Sensing Human Social, verbal, Human The Emotive Response affective Human UserImproving interaction in a Social Environment Communicationnovel social environment(humans + Computers + Emotional Context- Aware application onRobots) Mobile devices Recognizing humans and provide behavioural Response PatternHow could robots facilitate Interaction withthe access to technology and Computers, Robots, Humansprovide supportive services Computing Computing Applications Support And Knowledge Understanding and Modelling Affects in Social contexts
  21. 21. Questions

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