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HA-MRA: A Human-Aware Multi-Robot Architecture

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This thesis describes a multi-robot architecture which allows teams of robots to work with humans to complete tasks. The multi-agent architecture was built using Robot Operating System and Python. This

This thesis describes a multi-robot architecture which allows teams of robots to work with humans to complete tasks. The multi-agent architecture was built using Robot Operating System and Python. This architecture was designed modularly, allowing the use of different planners and robots. The system automatically replans when robots connect or disconnect. The system was demonstrated on two real robots, a Fetch and a PeopleBot, by conducting a surveillance task on the fifth floor of the Computer Science building at Arizona State University. The next part of the system includes extensions for teaming with humans. An Android application was created to serve as the interface between the system and human teammates. This application provides a way for the system to communicate with humans in the loop. In addition, it sends location information of the human teammates to the system so that goal recognition can be performed. This goal recognition allows the generation of human-aware plans. This capability was demonstrated in a mock search and rescue scenario using the Fetch to locate a missing teammate.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Human factors analysis of automated planning technologies for human-robot teaming

Description

Humans and robots need to work together as a team to accomplish certain shared goals due to the limitations of current robot capabilities. Human assistance is required to accomplish the

Humans and robots need to work together as a team to accomplish certain shared goals due to the limitations of current robot capabilities. Human assistance is required to accomplish the tasks as human capabilities are often better suited for certain tasks and they complement robot capabilities in many situations. Given the necessity of human-robot teams, it has been long assumed that for the robotic agent to be an effective team member, it must be equipped with automated planning technologies that helps in achieving the goals that have been delegated to it by their human teammates as well as in deducing its own goal to proactively support its human counterpart by inferring their goals. However there has not been any systematic evaluation on the accuracy of this claim.

In my thesis, I perform human factors analysis on effectiveness of such automated planning technologies for remote human-robot teaming. In the first part of my study, I perform an investigation on effectiveness of automated planning in remote human-robot teaming scenarios. In the second part of my study, I perform an investigation on effectiveness of a proactive robot assistant in remote human-robot teaming scenarios.

Both investigations are conducted in a simulated urban search and rescue (USAR) scenario where the human-robot teams are deployed during early phases of an emergency response to explore all areas of the disaster scene. I evaluate through both the studies, how effective is automated planning technology in helping the human-robot teams move closer to human-human teams. I utilize both objective measures (like accuracy and time spent on primary and secondary tasks, Robot Attention Demand, etc.) and a set of subjective Likert-scale questions (on situation awareness, immediacy etc.) to investigate the trade-offs between different types of remote human-robot teams. The results from both the studies seem to suggest that intelligent robots with automated planning capability and proactive support ability is welcomed in general.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Planning challenges in human-robot teaming

Description

As robotic technology and its various uses grow steadily more complex and ubiquitous, humans are coming into increasing contact with robotic agents. A large portion of such contact is cooperative

As robotic technology and its various uses grow steadily more complex and ubiquitous, humans are coming into increasing contact with robotic agents. A large portion of such contact is cooperative interaction, where both humans and robots are required to work on the same application towards achieving common goals. These application scenarios are characterized by a need to leverage the strengths of each agent as part of a unified team to reach those common goals. To ensure that the robotic agent is truly a contributing team-member, it must exhibit some degree of autonomy in achieving goals that have been delegated to it. Indeed, a significant portion of the utility of such human-robot teams derives from the delegation of goals to the robot, and autonomy on the part of the robot in achieving those goals. In order to be considered truly autonomous, the robot must be able to make its own plans to achieve the goals assigned to it, with only minimal direction and assistance from the human.

Automated planning provides the solution to this problem -- indeed, one of the main motivations that underpinned the beginnings of the field of automated planning was to provide planning support for Shakey the robot with the STRIPS system. For long, however, automated planners suffered from scalability issues that precluded their application to real world, real time robotic systems. Recent decades have seen a gradual abeyance of those issues, and fast planning systems are now the norm rather than the exception. However, some of these advances in speedup and scalability have been achieved by ignoring or abstracting out challenges that real world integrated robotic systems must confront.

In this work, the problem of planning for human-hobot teaming is introduced. The central idea -- the use of automated planning systems as mediators in such human-robot teaming scenarios -- and the main challenges inspired from real world scenarios that must be addressed in order to make such planning seamless are presented: (i) Goals which can be specified or changed at execution time, after the planning process has completed; (ii) Worlds and scenarios where the state changes dynamically while a previous plan is executing; (iii) Models that are incomplete and can be changed during execution; and (iv) Information about the human agent's plan and intentions that can be used for coordination. These challenges are compounded by the fact that the human-robot team must execute in an open world, rife with dynamic events and other agents; and in a manner that encourages the exchange of information between the human and the robot. As an answer to these challenges, implemented solutions and a fielded prototype that combines all of those solutions into one planning system are discussed. Results from running this prototype in real world scenarios are presented, and extensions to some of the solutions are offered as appropriate.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Probabilistic Imitation Learning for Spatiotemporal Human-Robot Interaction

Description

Imitation learning is a promising methodology for teaching robots how to physically interact and collaborate with human partners. However, successful interaction requires complex coordination in time and space, i.e., knowing

Imitation learning is a promising methodology for teaching robots how to physically interact and collaborate with human partners. However, successful interaction requires complex coordination in time and space, i.e., knowing what to do as well as when to do it. This dissertation introduces Bayesian Interaction Primitives, a probabilistic imitation learning framework which establishes a conceptual and theoretical relationship between human-robot interaction (HRI) and simultaneous localization and mapping. In particular, it is established that HRI can be viewed through the lens of recursive filtering in time and space. In turn, this relationship allows one to leverage techniques from an existing, mature field and develop a powerful new formulation which enables multimodal spatiotemporal inference in collaborative settings involving two or more agents. Through the development of exact and approximate variations of this method, it is shown in this work that it is possible to learn complex real-world interactions in a wide variety of settings, including tasks such as handshaking, cooperative manipulation, catching, hugging, and more.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2021