• Cooperative Human-Robot Tasks

    Posted on August 29, 2013 by admin in Research.

    In many cooperative tasks between a human and a robotic assistant, the human guides the robot by exerting forces, either through direct physical interaction or indirectly via a jointly manipulated object. These physical forces perturb the robot’s behavior execution and need to be compensated for in order to successfully complete such tasks. Typically, this problem is tackled by means of special purpose force sensors which are, however, not available on many robotic platforms. In contrast, we propose a machine learning approach based on standard sensors only, such as accelerometers and pressure sensors. In the training phase, a statistical model of behavior execution is learned that combines Gaussian Process Regression with a novel periodic kernel. During behavior execution, predictions from the statistical model are continuously compared with stability parameters derived from current sensor readings. Differences between predicted and measured values exceeding the variance of the statistical model are interpreted as guidance information and used to adapt the robot’s behavior. Several  examples of cooperative tasks between a human and a humanoid NAO robot demonstrate the feasibility of our approach.

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