Meet the robot that reached its destination asking directions from strangersMay 14th, 2009 - 1:54 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, May 14 (ANI): German roboticists have made a mobile robot that rolls up to any humans nearby, and asks for directions to reach its destination.
The breakthrough from the Technical University of Munich is the first time that such a robot has been designed that can be properly let loose in the real world, such as city roads.
Martin Buss, who led the team behind this advance, revealed that they dumped the robot called Autonomous City Explorer (ACE) outside the university, and instructed it to find its way to the Marienplatz in the centre of Munich, some 1.5 kilometres away.
He further revealed that the robot lacked an inbuilt map of Munich or a GPS system, and just like a lost human in a similar situation, all it could do was ask for directions.
ACE uses cameras and software to detect humans nearby, based on their motion and upright posture. A speaker working in sync with the animated mouth is used to get the person’s attention, and to ask them to touch the screen if they want to help.
Willing guides are then asked to point the robot in the correct direction, with the response being analysed by posture recognition software.
Once the direction is set, the robot says “thank you” before trundling off.
Pointing, rather than telling the robot where to go, avoids confusion caused by the fact that the robot and the facing pedestrian each have a different sense of left and right.
Buss revealed that during the experiment, though ACE interacted with 38 people over a period of nearly five hours, it eventually reached its destination.
Only once was ACE given the wrong directions, and it had to finally stop due to obstacles. Afterwards, it asked someone else for help, who put it back on course.
“In theory the robot has to continue on its incorrect path until it needs new information, this is why we are currently working on a system to check the information from humans for plausibility,” says team member Andrea Bauer.
Impressed with the study, Paul Newman, a roboticist at the University of Oxford in the UK, said: “It’s absolutely the way to go.”
He says that navigating a changing environment can be a complicated cognitive task, and “invoking humans when appropriate” could be a relatively simple way for robots to meet the challenge.
A report describing ACE has been published in the International journal of Social Robotics. (ANI)
- Scientists create robot which registers human emotions - Jul 16, 2012
- Scientists teach robots to read - Nov 25, 2010
- Robots may soon get their own Internet - Feb 10, 2011
- Now, a robot that can read and learn like a human! - Dec 07, 2010
- Indian-American working on robots to improve daily life - Sep 27, 2010
- Infants a model for robots? - Sep 04, 2011
- Robot punches humans to test pain thresholds - Oct 14, 2010
- Dogs Guided Remotely Can Perform Risky Jobs, Claims New Study - Jan 20, 2011
- Scientists develop sensitive skin for robots - Jun 30, 2011
- Now, robots that can hide from humans while spying! - Mar 22, 2011
- Can robots be blamed for killing civilians? - Apr 24, 2012
- How data helps to know people's mind - Apr 29, 2011
- In 10 years: Affordable robots to complete daunting home-tasks - Sep 26, 2010
- Software tweaks to make undersea robots smarter - Dec 05, 2011
- Now, lizard-like robot that 'swims' through sand - Jun 26, 2010
Tags: ace, asking directions, city roads, confusion, correct direction, gps system, incorrect path, marienplatz, martin buss, mobile robot, obstacles, pedestrian, plausibility, posture, posture recognition, real world, recognition software, team member, technical university of munich, university of munich